With Anthony Chickillo the latest name to be added to the injury report after picking up an an ankle injury in the win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Pittsburgh Steelers could be in need of some depth at the position heading into Week 12. Thankfully, they may not have to look too far to find that help with a young prospect already on the roster just waiting for his chance to show the coaching staff what he can do.
Ola Adeniyi looked to be an intriguing option at outside linebacker after an impressive preseason, but initial hopes were soon dashed when he was placed on injured reserve at the start of the year. Eligible to return to action since Week 6, little had been heard from the rookie this year beyond him confirming that he had fully recovered from his hamstring injury back October, that was until Tuesday.
Having clearly received some good news earlier in the day, Adeniyi took to social media to announce his planned return to the practice field on Wednesday, telling his followers on Twitter “Wow, I’m practicing tmrw!!”.
While Mike Tomlin did not technically confirm his return when speaking to reporters at his weekly press conference, he did acknowledge the team has been discussing when the rookie might practice. When told about the young linebackers tweet, Tomlin’s “Well, that’s good” response gave little away, but it is interesting to note that Adeniyi’s post was deleted just minutes after Tomlin had concluded his session with the media.
Once he does resume practicing, Pittsburgh will have 21 days to decide if they want to active him or return him to injured reserve and lose him for the rest of the season. If he is activated, another player on the 53-man roster will have to be released or place on injured reserve to make room for him.
On Wednesday, the Steelers officially confirmed Adeniyi was now eligible to begin practicing.
We have placed LB Ola Adeniyi on our Reserve Injured; Designated to Return List.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 21, 2018
The Steelers have officially designated Ola Adeniyi with the IR to return. So he will begin practicing today. That gives them 21 days to place him on the active roster or have him spend the entire season on IR. #Steelers #dkps— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) November 21, 2018
Although there was not exactly an official confirmation of his return during Tomlin’s press conference, there is also a possibility that Eli Rogers could also be back at practice at some point this week as well, now also being eligible to resume training. Again, the Steelers will then have a 21-day window to decide if they want to add him to the roster or shut him down for the rest of the season whenever he does start practicing.