Pittsburgh Steelers: For Limas, Life Isn't So Sweed

TJ JenkinsAnalyst IMay 8, 2010

PITTSBURGH - AUGUST 29: Wide Reciver Limas Sweed #14 of the Pittsburgh Steelers makes a frist down catch in the first quarter tackled by Paul Posluszny #51 of the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field on August 29, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Limas Sweed is entering his third year as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. Through two years of seeing minimal playing time due to concentration issues and an intense fear of contact, he’s been nothing short of underwhelming.

In 20 games played (starting in none), he amassed only seven receptions for 69 yards, no touchdowns, and two fumbles.

Certainly not the production you want to see out of a second-round draft pick.

But, as fans of a team that is deathly loyal, not only to their community, but also to their team and the players employed by that team, we’ve all been at the very least hoping that Sweed somehow turned it around and became the productive player he was thought to be coming out of Texas.

But, it’s starting to look more and more like we’ll never know if that could happen, as the latest trouble surrounding the wide receiver could spell the end of his days wearing the black and gold.

The latest trouble came by no direct fault of his own, he didn’t spend the night in a nightclub making a myriad of mistakes, he didn’t assault his girlfriend, and he didn’t tell a fan to go kill themselves.

He simply played football.

As everyone who’s ever strapped on a helmet and laced up a pair of cleats knows: With football comes the risk of an injury. In a freak accident of sorts, Sweed fell victim to one such occurrence.

The third-year receiver injured his left Achilles tendon during mini-camp this year and recently had surgery to repair it. From all reports I’ve read, it’s very doubtful that he’ll be able to get back on the field for the team in the 2010 season.

And that’s kind of sad.

Not only was this young kid coming in with a whole new outlook on not only the game, but a whole new outlook on life. He was committed to working hard and improving his problem areas.

This season is going to be a test of not only his character, but of his mental toughness. If he’s going to earn a spot on the roster by sitting on the sidelines, there’s only one way he can do it.

He absolutely must be present at all team meeting’s that he can be. And he’s going to have to be on the sidelines or in a press box during the games, watching, learning, memorizing.

Because if he doesn’t, the Steelers will not even consider bringing him back next year.

It’s a learning opportunity that came in the guise of a horrible injury. He has a chance to sit back with no pressure to perform this year and learn the offense from veterans like Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle El, both of whom have played in the Steelers offense for years.

Sweed has one last chance to be a Pittsburgh Steelers player, from here on out it’s completely up to him and the choices he makes.