Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith, one of the most underrated players of his era, will end another season on injured reseve.
The team announced Saturday that Smith has been placed on injured reserve with a foot injury. The 35-year-old has played in only 15 games over the last three years because of various injuries. Undrafted free agent defensive end Corbin Bryant will replace him on the roster.
The team placed Smith on I.R. in 2009 early, and kept him on the roster last year in hopes he’d return for the Super Bowl. He wasn’t able to make it back.
On balance, Smith has probably been the most valuable Steelers defender over the last decade except for Troy Polamalu. He did the dirty work up front so the outside linebackers could shine. Smith has started since 2000.
It’s worth wondering if this will be the end of the road for the 13-year veteran. He started 152 games over that stretch.