Steve McLendon Is Back; Thaddeus Gibson Is Waived

With Aaron Smith out for an extended period of time and Brett Keisel still hobbled with his injury, it was only a matter of time until Steve McLendon was brought back up from the practice squad. It wasn’t a question of if would happen, but when, and who would be going to make room for him.

On Saturday, we received our answers. McLendon is back, and Thaddeus Gibson is the odd man out.

Gibson, a fourth-round pick this year, being the guy to go is a bit of a stunner. Head coach Mike Tomlin said it was because linebacker is their deepest position and Gibson was simply the “low man on the totem pole.”

In six games he had yet to be active. The question now becomes whether or not there’s a team out there that likes him enough to make another roster move to make room for him, and then claim him on waivers.

It’s a tough situation for the Steelers because Gibson is clearly a young player with some upside, but as a team that’s in a “win now” mode they weren’t in any position to dump a player that’s actually contributing every week.

Frankly, I wouldn’t have been opposed to seeing Jonathan Dwyer as the guy let go on Saturday (Editor’s Note: JJ and Ryan agree). The Steelers aren’t exactly loaded at running back, but Dwyer, like Gibson, has yet to dress for a game and I can’t imagine him being picked up on waivers. And even if he is, a fourth-string running back isn’t exactly the hardest position to fill.

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  • ryan

    Dulac said something about Gibson being a slow learner or some such, but I remember hearing the same thing about Antonio Brown. At this point, I’m just figuring that Jonathan Dwyer has some dong shots of Tomlin or Colbert. It’s only a matter of time before he’s named a starter.

  • steeler junky

    I got to agree with your acessment. Surprise , Surprise, I thought it would be Dwyer or Batch. I hope he clears waivers. But the way some teams pick up and waive players almost on a daily baises I don’t know if he will?

    • Anonymous

      Batch wouldn’t really make sense. You need to bring in a player now to fill in for the banged up defensive line. To do that, you need an active spot, and as the 3rd string QB, Batch is the only player who can actually fill his role while inactive. There’s also some risk of him being picked up by Dallas, but as a veteran he could refuse.

      Dwyer would be a sensible choice, but so is Gibson. Maybe Dwyer has shown more in practice than Gibson so they’d rather take their chances with the latter than with the former.

  • steeler junky

    The coaches must think Dwyer has a chance to be one of the top 3 RB next season.