The @Steelers sign DE Joe Okafor from Lamar to replace DE Clifton Geathers, who went on IR. The team's DL depth takes a hit with this one.— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) August 7, 2015
The Pittsburgh Steelers had high hopes for DE Clifton Geathers as veteran depth at the defensive end position. Those hopes were dashed Friday when the team announced they placed the former Eagles and Redskins DE on injured reserve. In response to the designation, they signed DE Joe Okafor.
The loss of Geathers will certainly test the team's depth along the defensive line as Geathers was a primary backup on the most recent depth chart released earlier this week and would have been part of a rotation with starters Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt and other veteran backup Cam Thomas.
Geathers being placed on injured reserve now opens the door for Joe Kruger, Ethan Hemer, rookie L.T. Walton and others to prove their worth throughout the preseason in hopes of finding a spot in the rotation on the team's 53-man rotation.
The injuries are certainly a trend heading in the wrong direction for the Steelers, and something which fans everywhere hopes ends sooner rather than later.