Steelers place Willie Colon (knee) on season-ending IR
The Pittsburgh Steelers guard Willie Colon has missed three of the past four games due to the knee injury. He attempted to return in Week 14 against the San Diego Chargers, but Willie Colon ultimately ended-up on the sidelines after re-aggravating his knee injury during the 34-24 loss.
Removing Willie Colon from the active roster has opened up a spot, ending the Pittsburgh Steelers’ dilemma over how to accommodate running back Rashard Mendenhall returning from a one-game suspension.
Whether the Pittsburgh Steelers held on to Willie Colon in hopes of seeing some improvement in his knee injury or they were aware they’d need to open a roster spot for Rashard Mendenhall this week is insignificant at this point after Colon’s been shut down for the remaining season. It’s the third consecutive year Willie Colon has landed on the injured reserve. Willie Colon missed the entire 2010 campaign with an Achilles injury sustained prior to training camp. Last season, Willie Colon appeared only in the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens before missing the rest of the season with torn triceps. Willie Colon was only moved to guard at the start of this season, after spending the rest of his career playing at tackle.
While the situation can potentially disrupt the offensive line the Pittsburgh Steelers are brimming with confidence thanks to the satisfactory contributions by two of their rookies. David DeCastro made his NFL debut at right guard opposite Ramon Foster replacing Willie Colon at left guard during Sunday’s 27-24 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
“I thought (DeCastro) did a nice job (with) very few, if any, mental errors," Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin observed on Tuesday.
Meanwhile fellow rookie Kelvin Beachem earned his third consecutive start in absence of injured tackle Mike Adams.
The Pittsburgh Steelers had initially moved Maurkice Pouncey at left guard as Willie Colon’s replacement, but left him at center during Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Shipping Willie Colon to the injured reserve goes to show that the Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in the DeCastro-Foster tandem. Additionally, the Pittsburgh Steelers (7-6) will likely go forward with it in this Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals (8-6), who are one game ahead of them in the wild card standing.
However, if this pans out into a long term thing, where the Pittsburgh Steelers would no longer be interested in securing Willie Colon for 2013 by paying him the $5.5 million he will be due for the season still needs to be seen. Willie Colon has three years remaining on a $29-million, which could cost the Pittsburgh Steelers a cap hit of $7.5 million per season.
Arguably, the price tag here is a little too steep for a player who has trouble staying health and so frequently ends up on the injured reserve.