While the news of Stephon Tuitt’s injury dominated Pittsburgh Steelers fans’ timelines Tuesday, there was some lesser known moves among the depth of the team which left many scratching their heads.
First, the team terminated the contract of L.J. Fort, a reserve at inside linebacker and special teams player, to re-sign Steven Johnson.
Let’s get past the fact the team used the term “terminated” rather than “released” or “waived” and focus on football. Unlike most roster decisions which happen within the depth of the roster, most include players who don’t play much. Players who are typically inactive on game days.
That wasn’t the case with Fort. He was a special teams player, and was active for the team’s Week 1 game against the Browns. Nonetheless, Fort is out, and Johnson is back in, after being released just days prior.
But things don’t end there. Rather, they continue with the team signing Fort to their practice squad, and release linebacker Matt Galambos.
We have added LB L.J. Fort to our Practice Squad and released LB Matt Galambos.— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 13, 2017
Now Galambos, who had a decent training camp and was a tackling machine, is a free agent, and Fort is on the 10-man practice squad. Odds are this was financially motivated, but from a performance standpoint most would agree having Fort on the roster with Galambos on the practice squad learning is more attractive than Johnson on the active roster and Fort on the practice squad.
This is a situation which hopefully only impact special teams, since Fort or Johnson seeing the field on defense means injuries to several players, but it still remains one of the oddest series of transactions in a long time.
So, to recap: Johnson is back, Fort was gone, but is back, and Galambos is out.
Hope that makes sense to you, because I still don’t totally understand the reasoning behind it, from a football standpoint.