You can't make the club in the tub.
Its an old axiom in football. Chuck Noll was famous for saying it. Other coaches spout those words today. When a player is hurt, his chances of making an NFL roster also suffer.
That's not totally the case with Ryan Shazier, but the disappointment of not suiting up for his first game in the NFL still is on hold for now. Or so it seems.
Shazier was out of practice all week because that knee is still bothering him. It's most likely he will be a game time decision by head coach Mike Tomlin.
The decision is a simple one. He shouldn't play.
Everybody wants to get him on the filed to see what he can do. I'm sure Shazier is at the top of the list in that regard. When you are a first round draft pick, expectations are going to be high. Results are needed and expected when you get taken 15th overall and when you can't deliver due to injury, it brings questions.
It's a bit premature to go that route on Shazier, but the bruised knee to begin his pro career isn't a good start, but I'm here to say that any playing time where he's not 100% will only hurt his progress towards a promising regular season.
Simply put, a game that really means zero is no reason to trot him on the field just to see how he can play at this level of football. Any risk taken now makes no sense if he's not fully ready to show what he can do.
I don't expect to see Shazier play tonight vs. the Bills. If we do, I would expect it to be very limited. But in all honesty, if he's only playing 10 snaps, what's the sense in that?
Shazier will be on the sidelines for the game and I'm ok with that. So should Steelers fans.
John Phillips is a radio personality for 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and a columnist for Behind The Steel Curtain. Check him out on Facebook and follow him on Twitter. Listen to JP today on The Fan from 4-5:40pm when BTSC Managing Editor Neal Coolong joins him at 5:20 to talk Steelers vs. Bills.