According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, there's a "strong possibility" Heath Miller (ACL, MCL, PCL surgery) won't be ready for Week 1.
In this scenario, blocker Matt Spaeth would be Pittsburgh's starting tight end. The Trib-Review calls Miller "out indefinitely," despite previous optimism he'd be ready for the opener. He didn't participate in any portions of OTAs. Miller suffered the three-ligament knee tear on December 23 and had reconstructive surgery on January 2. He should be viewed as a TE2 only in fantasy drafts.
The Steelers have not approached contract-year FS Ryan Clark about an extension.
It's not surprising because the Steelers traded up to draft Clark's heir apparent in Shamarko Thomas. Clark wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh, but may not have that option. Thomas is much cheaper and Clark turns 34 in October.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that rookie RB Le'Veon Bell's playing time will be determined by how quickly he picks up pass protection.
The Steelers are counting on Bell to start as a rookie, but he remains unproven as a blocker in the NFL and could be replaced by Isaac Redman or Jonathan Dwyer on third downs. Dwyer led all running backs in pass blocking efficiency last season. Redman is considered a "lock" for the 53-man roster.
Jonathan Dwyer led all running backs in pass blocking efficiency in 2012.
Dwyer struggled in a committee with Isaac Redman, but his blocking ability will help his chances of making the 2013 Steelers. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes both Dwyer and La'Rod Stephens-Howling are on the roster bubble.
No rookie has started on the Steelers' defense since 2001.
Kendrell Bell and Casey Hampton both started as rookies on Pittsburgh's 2001 defense. Jarvis Jones is trying to end the 11-year drought by beating out Jason Worilds for James Harrison's old right outside linebacker role. "He's showing us things," LBs coach Keith Butler said of Jones. "And if he keeps showing those things he's going to be a big part of (the defense), hopefully."
Ben Roethlisberger (knee) has resumed a throwing program.
Roethlisberger has been throwing to receivers on the practice field and said that he "could play Sunday" if it were the regular season. He continues to progress ahead of schedule after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery last week. Roethlisberger remains on track to be 100 percent for training camp.
Steelers signed fourth-round QB Landry Jones to a four-year contract.
The maddeningly inconsistent Jones looked like a future first-round pick at times in college, but he sees ghosts in the pocket and crumbles under pressure. He'll be the No. 3 behind Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski as a rookie, but some think the Steelers will try to groom Jones as Big Ben's successor.