When Mike Tomlin met with the media Tuesday for his typical press conference, he was asked about what the organization was planning on doing with rookie 4th round pick Calvin Austin III.
The 21-day clock was running out on Austin to return, and here is what Tomlin said about his potential return:
“I haven’t asked. It’s the early portions of the week. We’ve been more in the schematics and the game plan. I’m sure I’ll get some clarification a little later, maybe even later on today. It just hasn’t been high priority for me at this juncture. This guy hasn’t played in a stadium yet anyways. He hasn’t played in a preseason stadium. So, it’s more about development for him, and that’s the perspective that I have. I’m just being realistic, up or down, active or inactive. His overall readiness this weekend, it’s probably not a high probability, and I’m just being straightforward.”
The team had options when it came to Austin. Promote him to the 53-man active roster, even though he might be inactive most weeks. He would be at practice and getting acclimated to life in the NFL. The other option was to let him land on season-ending Injured Reserve (IR).
It was Wednesday afternoon when the team announced they were placing Austin on the season-ending IR.
Steelers fans were upset with the fact they weren’t going to be able to see Austin at all in his rookie season, but they also were wondering why the Steelers would make this decision.
According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Austin reaggravated his foot injury which resulted in his season being over before it even began. Per the report, Austin is slated to have surgery on his foot.
Steelers had to place rookie WR Calvin Austin on injured reserve for the remainder of the season after he aggravated the foot injury that caused him to miss the entire preseason. Scheduled to have surgery.— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) October 26, 2022
It is hard to believe the speedster from Memphis was never even seen on an NFL field at any point this year. His foot injury occurred on the Friday before the Steelers first preseason game vs. the Seattle Seahawks at Acrisure Stadium.
At this point, the hope is Austin can get the surgery and heal up fully before the 2023 season where he hopefully can become an integral of the team’s offense.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 of the 2022 regular season.