The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium, and when they make the short trip from Pennsylvania to Maryland they might have some old, but new, faces at the ready if they were to make the playoffs.
On Thursday, the Steelers elected to have full back Roosevelt Nix and receiver Ryan Switzer return from the Injured Reserve (IR) list.
Every team is allowed to designate two players to return after being placed on IR, and with one week left in the season the team obviously felt these two offensive players are the only ones with the chance to return at some point. While neither player is eligible return until after the Steelers have played eight games, they can begin practice two weeks prior to being eligible. Both Nix and Switzer were placed on the Reserve/Injured List following the Steelers Week 10 game against the Rams. Since it has been six weeks, they are eligible to practice but can not be put back on the 53-man roster until after wildcard weekend.
Switzer was placed on injured reserve after dealing with a back injury, and Nix with a knee injury which had plagued him for the majority of the season dating back to Week 1. The question now is, will these two players make an impact in practice? Or are they merely insurance policies if the Steelers can advance to the postseason and beyond the opening weekend?
While the vast majority of Steelers fans will suggest Switzer won’t, it is hard to argue when talking about Nix. The Steelers struggles running the football could use a road grader like Nix leading the way, and some of their best running performances have been with Nix in the lineup. Not to mention Nix’s capabilities on special teams.
The addition of these players certainly provides some talking points heading into the regular season finale should the Steelers get to a point where they would be added to the 53-man roster. It may be too little too late at this point for the Steelers, but bringing these two players back to practice in hopes either one could help the team in January has no downside.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Baltimore Ravens in Week 17 at M&T Bank Stadium at 4:25 p.m. ET.