Steelers Make Time-Sensitive Roster Move, Place LB on Injured Reserve

Henry Mondeaux Ulysees Gilbert Steelers

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Henry Mondeaux and Ulysees Gilbert of the Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Reggie Bonnafon of the Carolina Panthers during a preseason game on August 29, 2019.

Today the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that they have activated offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski from the reserve/injured list.

Wisniewski was added to the IR list after the season-opener, as he suffered a pectoral injury against the New York Giants while starting at right guard in place of starter David DeCastro. He returned to practice on October 14. Had the Steelers not activated him on Wednesday, he would not have been eligible to come off of injured reserve for the remainder of the season.

LB Ulysees Gilbert III to Injured Reserve

To make room for Wisniewski on the active roster the Steelers placed inside linebacker Ulysees Gilbert on injured reserve. Gilbert has played in only one game this season (against the Tennessee Titans), but he was part of the plan to replace fellow ILB Devin Bush before a back injury sidelined him for the game against the Ravens.

Gilbert’s injury is concerning because it’s the second year in row he has been placed on injured reserve with a back issue. Last year he missed the second half of the season with a fractured vertebra in his lower back.

On Tuesday Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that part of the reason the team traded for Avery Williamson is because of Gilbert’s lack of availability.

“We know that we’ve lost Devin Bush and lost Devin Bush for 2020 [with an ACL injury], but additionally to that in recent weeks Ulysees Gilbert has been less than available with a back [injury],” offered Tomlin. “So at the trade deadline we thought it was necessary, if we had an opportunity, to get a known commodity, one like Avery Williamson who we were somewhat familiar with and who was somewhat familiar with our schematics, and put him into the fold.”

Referring to the schematics comparison, Tomlin noted that “at the early stages of [Williamson’s] career he played in Tennessee in a system of defense that was very similar to ours, not only in terms of how it was constructed but also the language itself.”

Stephon Tuitt Receives NFL Award

In one other bit of news from Wednesday, Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8. It’s the first time Tuitt has received the honor in his seven-year career.

Coming into the season, Pro Football Focus named Tuitt its ‘dark horse’ pick to be the NFL’s best player at his position in 2020.

After getting two sacks against the Ravens, Tuitt is tied for second on the team (with Bud Dupree) with six sacks, and a big part of the reason the Steelers lead the NFL in that category with 30.

The Steelers are attempting to set a new franchise record this year for most consecutive seasons with 50+ sacks (four), an accomplishment not seen in the NFL since the 1980s.

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