After trimming the roster down to 53 players by 4 PM on Tuesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers are making more moves as they prepare their roster for Week 1 of the NFL regular season. After spending the mandatory 24 hours on the roster in order to be eligible to return, the Steelers have placed Stephon Tuitt, Zach Banner, and Anthony McFarland Jr. on the Reserved/Injured List.
We have placed OL Zach Banner, RB Anthony McFarland Jr. and DE Stephon Tuitt on the Reserve/Injured List.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 1, 2021
We have also signed OL Rashaad Coward, OL B.J. Finney and CB Arthur Maulet to the 53-man roster.https://t.co/U5eKRCj0pT
By being placed on the Reserve/Injured List after being on the 53-man roster, all three players are eligible to return in as soon as three weeks. Once the three weeks have passed, the players can start a 21 day window to return once they practice for the first time. If a player does not return to practice, there is not a timetable in which they must return.
After tragically losing his brother to a hit-and-run accident this offseason, Stephon Tuitt was not in Pittsburgh for OTA‘s or mandatory minicamp. Joining the team when training camp started in July, Tuitt has not practiced and has instead been doing individual work. Unsure about whether Tuitt was dealing with returning to form or with an injury, Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler confirmed on Wednesday that Stephon Tuitt is in fact dealing with a knee injury as well as getting into football shape and dealing with his family.
“His knee’s bothering him right now, as far as I know,” Butler answered in response to a question asking if Tuitt is dealing with injury. “I don’t know exactly everything about his knee. I just know it’s slowing down right now. To tell you the truth, I don’t know how I’d handle my mom watching her son die. I don’t know if I could handle that. So, I’m not sure what to tell you, other than that his knee is bothering him a little bit and he might be a little bit overweight and what he’s doing with his mother.”
As for Zach Banner, he is continuing to work his way back from season-ending ACL surgery following the Steelers Week 1 matchup in 2020. Easing his way back into things, Banner only saw 12 snaps in the preseason which all occurred in the Steelers third of four games.
The injury to Steelers second-year running back Anthony McFarland had not been reported until head coach Mike Tomlin said in his post game press conference following the Steelers final preseason game in Carolina that both McFarland and Banner did not make the trip as they stayed in Pittsburgh for continued treatment. It has still not been specified exactly the injury to McFarland or what extent it will affect his ability to return to the team.
With three spots available on the Steelers 53-man roster, the team has announced they have re-signed guards Rashaad Coward and B.J. Finney as well as cornerback Arthur Maulet. All three players were released by the Steelers on Tuesday as part of roster cuts but did not have to clear waivers due to having more than four years in the NFL.
Although the Steelers are back to 53 players on their roster and have filled out most of their 16-man practice squad, there is still a possibility things could change between now and September 12 when they take on the Buffalo Bills. As the Steelers roster continues to evolve, make sure you stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for all your Pittsburgh Steelers news and updates.