The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a humiliating loss to the Baltimore Ravens Sunday afternoon, but they may have lost more than a game in the process.
In fact, they may have lost much more.
Offensive tackle Willie Colon, who just signed a new five-year deal worth $29 million, suffered a torn triceps muscle in yesterday’s game against the Ravens. According to Colon's agent Joe Bucha, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Colon is likely to miss the rest of the season.
After a disappointing loss in the season opener, an injury to one of the few consistent blockers on the Steelers roster is down right devastating to a team that is literal scraping bottom at the position.
The Steelers are all too familiar with triceps injuries, as a torn triceps sidelined Aaron Smith for the majority of last season. Colon spent the entire 2010 season on the IR after rupturing his achilles tendon in OTA’s last May. Losing him for the majority of this season is a major blow considering Chris Scott, Trai Essex and rookie left tackle Marcus Gilbert are the only other options available.
Should the Steelers need to replace Colon on the roster, there are several options available to them. With little to no wiggle room under the cap, the Steelers will once again have to get creative to get another offensive lineman signed.
The two most readily available players out there are familiar names. Flozell Adams and Max Starks are both still on the market after being cut by the Steelers during camp to make room under the salary cap.
Adams refused to take a pay cut on the $5 million due him in 2011, and Max Starks has been just as much of an injury concern as Colon in recent years.
There are conditioning concerns with Starks as well, who was rumored to be at almost 400 pounds when the Steelers approached training camp.
With Adams wanting significant money, there may be another familiar name the Steelers can turn to in this situation.
Rob Petitti, the former University of Pittsburgh offensive lineman, is still on the market. Petitti was a sixth-round pick by the Cowboys in 2005 and started every game at right tackle his rookie season.
He has since bounced around because of injury issues, but when on the field Petitti has been solid. Should the Steelers be unable to sign Adams or Starks, don’t be surprised to hear his name mentioned as a cheaper alternative.
More should become clear at Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference Tuesday.
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