On Thursday, running back Chris Rainey started the day as a member of the Steelers. While he technically will still finish the day as a member of the Steelers, it’s only a matter of time before he isn’t.
The Steelers waived Rainey after he was arrested for allegedly slapping his girlfriend. But there’s minor problem with the team’s intended transaction; rosters for franchises whose seasons have ended are locked until the day after the Super Bowl.
So, as the league office has confirmed to PFT, the Steelers can’t actually waive Rainey until next month. Which means that he won’t be subject to waivers, and in turn not available to be claimed by a playoff team that would be interested in a kickoff return specialist and a young tailback with some pro potential.
Meanwhile, the decision to part ways with a fifth-round draft pick accused of misdemeanor battery brings back in to focus the double standard the Steelers often apply to players accused of off-field misconduct. After all, fourth-round nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu wasn’t cut after he was involved in a bizarre DUI incident that included resisting arrest and attempting escape and aggravated assault. Instead, he was suspended two games, before later being released for roster purposes and then re-signed to the practice squad. He is now a member of the official roster.
That’s not to pick on the Steelers. It’s a reality of every sport, at every level. Excuses are made for the stars; examples are made of the scrubs.
So the real takeaway from today’s development is that the Steelers regard Rainey as a scrub. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be planning to dump him.