Pittsburgh Steelers: What Should They Do With Aaron Smith?

Mad ChadAnalyst IJanuary 19, 2011

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 27:  Aaron Smith #91 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is pictured during the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 27, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

It seems that Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive end Aaron Smith will be able to play this Sunday for the AFC Championship vs. the New York Jets.

But should he?

That's the question being asked by the media and Steelers' fans as the injured DE practices for the first time since tearing his triceps Oct. 24th in Miami

If possible he is healthy enough to play, Smith should be on the field. He may only be able to be on the field for a few crucial plays, but any contribution from him would only be beneficial to a team and defense that is a game away from the Super bowl.

However, DE Ziggy Hood has played at a high level throughout the last few weeks, and had his best game last week against Baltimore. Smith is an elite player, but how effective will he be with so much rust to knock off?

Undoubtedly, Smith's return adds depth to the Steelers defensive line now.

But what do the Steelers do with him after the playoffs?

His contract expires after next season and he's had three season-ending injuries in the last four years. Hood has played well in Smith's absence and is ready to be a full-time starter.

Will the Steelers re-sign Smith for depth? Would Smith accept a smaller contract and a possible backup role?

It should be an interesting off-season, whether or not NFL games are played next year.


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