´ Steel Curtain Rising: Aaron Smith Still Not Fully Recovered?

Who gets the game ball for the win over the Colts?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Aaron Smith Still Not Fully Recovered?

Steelers Nation got some good news Friday when Gerry Dulac reported on PG Plus that Troy Poalamlu’s recovery from a slight Achilles tendon tear is healing well. Dulac further reported that Polamalu is under the care of an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles.

If Dulac is right about Polamalu, everyone in Steelers Nation can say a prayer of thanks, because number 43 is one of the true game-changing players in the league today.

The news on Aaron Smith is less welcome.

Aaron Smith of course tore a triceps in early October. The Steelers however did not put Smith on IR, opting to give him a chance to make a come back before year’s end, a decision which ultimately forced them to cut Thaddus Gibson, whom they'd picked in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL draft.

While Dulac reports that “Smith has suffered no set backs” he also indicates that “it is still unclear at this point if he will be 100 percent recovered in time for training camp” (assuming there is a training camp….)

Should Have Put Aaron Smith on IR

I am not medical expert, but this new information really calls Tomlin’s decision not to put Smith on IR into question.

Let’s be clear:

  • The outcome of Super Bowl XLV would not have been different had Thaddus Gibson been on the roster.
According to Pro Football Reference, Thaddus Gibson got into two games in San Francisco, and the site did not track any tackles or other stats for the player. If Gibson is to be this generations Dwayne Board, as Ed Bouchette never tires of suggesting each time the Steelers cut a young defender, he’s given zero indication of that thus far.

But in hind sight the decision to keep Smith active did perhaps limit roster flexibility in other areas.

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2 comments:

t1mmy10 said...

that's sad to hear that about smith. if his injury isn't healed by then it really hurts his chances of making the team again even if he does take a pay cut.

if he doesn't take a cut this pretty much means there is no chance the steelers bring him back.

KT said...

Tim,

I am not sure Smith's return will come down so much to salary questions, because my guess is that IF there is a season, and that is a big IF at this point, it will be either uncapped or they'll be a lot of liberal spending rules in place.

Still, if Smith is not back to game form now I still must question if he can be ready by July.