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Steelers place Stefen Wisniewski on Injured Reserve, promote Derwin Gray

The Pittsburgh Steelers have placed free agent acquisition Stefen Wisniewski on Injured Reserve and promoted Derwin Gray to their active roster.

NFL: AUG 03 Steelers Training Camp Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced following Friday’s practice they have placed center/guard Stefen Wisniewski on the Reserve/Injured List and have promoted offensive lineman Derwin Gray from the practice squad.

This from the official Steelers Twitter account:

The roster move is more about the pectoral injury Wisniewski suffered in the Steelers’ Week 1 win over the New York Giants than Gray’s promotion. However, when it comes specifically to the Steelers Week 2 match up against the Denver Broncos Sunday at 1 PM at Heinz Field, the Steelers will need all the help they can get along their offensive line.

With adjusted rules for the 2020 season, players going on Injured Reserve (IR) only have to miss three weeks before they can return, if the Steelers felt Wisnewski was not going to be available for the next three games, the decision to place him on the reserve list was wise as it didn’t waste a precious roster spot.

The Steelers will now have eight healthy offensive linemen on the roster going into Sunday’s game, and they will all be able to dress as part of the teams’ 48-man active roster. If teams do not have eight offensive linemen, the most roster spots they can use for each game in 2020 is 47 players.

If the Steelers felt Wisniewski was able to return prior to Week 5, they simply could have used the new practice squad elevation rule in order to promote Gray just for this week‘s matchup. By placing Wisniewski on IR, it’s apparent the Steelers do not feel he will be available for the next several weeks.

The Steelers look to play their second game of the 2020 season with somewhat of a patchwork offensive line. Although Alejandro Villanueva, Matt Feiler, and Maurkice Pouncey all got the start in Week 1, rookie guard Kevin Dotson looks to get his first NFL start at right guard with Chukwuma Okorafor taking over the right tackle responsibilities after Zach Banner was lost for the season with an ACL injury. The Steelers three reserve offensive linemen for Sunday’s game will be J.C. Hassenauer, Jerald Hawkins, and Derwin Grey.

Stay tuned to BTSC for all your Steelers news leading up to their second game of the 2020 season as they take on the Denver Broncos at Heinz Field at 1 PM this Sunday.