In a since-deleted Instagram post, Steelers outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi underwent a surgical procedure this morning which is still unknown at this time.
Steelers OLB Ola Adeniyi had surgery this morning per his social media account. No information provided by the team yet. Adeniyi had a tremendous 3 weeks at Saint Vincent for training camp.— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 16, 2019
While surgery does not necessarily mean Ola’s season is over, it is difficult to speculate anything at this point until the exact procedure is announced. In 2018, Adeniyi began the season on injured reserve and returned to the Steelers active roster on December 1 following the Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos. Ola dressed for only one game in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers. His entire 2018 season consisted of nine defensive snaps and one combined tackle.
In Week 1 of the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Adeniyi registered four tackles and impressed with his special teams coverage. Throughout training camp, Adeniyi was noticed for his performance both in drills and team activities creating a lot of buzz surrounding his upcoming 2019 season.
There were many people inside the organization as well as countless fans who had high hopes for Adeniyi’s contributions to the Steelers in 2019. While his exact status for the season is still to be determined, it appears at least some time with the Steelers will be missed.
With Adeniyi’s availability for the 2019 season now in question, the outside linebacker position will be one to watch closely in the next three preseason games. While T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Anthony Chickillo all remain on the Steelers as the only outside linebackers on the Steelers roster for most of 2018, it is difficult to imagine the team going with such few options at the position for another season. Rookies Tuzar Skipper and Sutton Smith, both coming out of the Mid-American Conference, may now be given a greater opportunity to find their way onto the Steelers 53-man roster.
Skipper, a former teammate of Adeniyi’s from Toledo, earned his way to Latrobe after impressing the Steelers as a tryout player for rookie mini camp. In the Steelers Week 1 preseason matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Skipper registered a sack. As for Sutton Smith, he was a sixth round draft pick for the Steelers out of Northern Illinois but has battled injuries this preseason.
Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for updates as this story continues to develop.
Per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Adeniyi underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The injury will have him sidelined 2-4 weeks, minimum.
Ola Adeniyi has meniscus tear. Out 2-4 weeks min— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 16, 2019
If Dulac’s timeline is true, this injury will have Adeniyi missing the final three weeks of the preseason, and potentially the first two weeks of the regular season. Those games are the season opener in New England against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, then the home opener vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.
Any time a player undergoes surgery the timeline to return is never cut-and-dry, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on this story and more as the black-and-gold prepare for Week 2 of the NFL Preseason.