It was always expected that the Pittsburgh Steelers would be adding a player to injured reserve when safety Nat Berhe announced he had re-signed with the Black and Gold on Sunday, but few could have expected the name the team confirmed on Monday.
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi will begin his rookie season on injury reserve with a designation to return in 2018 after the Steelers announced he was the one making way for the Berhe signing via social media.
Although Adeniyi was forced to leave the Steelers’ last preseason game of the year against the Carolina Panther in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, little had been said by the team to suggest he was significantly hurt. That clearly was not the case though.
Ola Adeniyi termed his hamstring injury "mild" when I asked him about it after the game Thursday. Obviously, not a one-week injury. Must be on IR for six weeks. Now only three OLBs on the roster. That could change in the coming days.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) September 3, 2018
To be able to return from IR later in the season, Adeniyi technically needed to start the year on the 53-man roster under league rules, and he could be eligible to return in Week 10 if he is back to full strength, as per Teresa Varley of Steelers.com.
“Adeniyi is eligible to return to practice six weeks after being placed on the reserve/injured list, and can be activated after eight games, which would be Week 10 of the season. Teams are permitted to return two players to the active list that were placed on reserve/injured any date after Sept. 2 at 4 p.m.”
The young linebacker is optimistic he will be back in six weeks too.
With the addition of Berhe, Pittsburgh now has six safeties, but just three outside linebackers on the active roster. Given that T.J. Watt has been unable to play throughout the preseason, it would not be a surprise to see Keion Adams promoted from the practice squad or a free agent option signed in the coming days.