When will Ladarius Green join the Steelers, if ever?

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With Steelers tight end Heath Miller retired, it was believed the team had found a capable replacement in free-agent acquisition Ladarius Green.

The four-year, $20 million contract came with a signing bonus of $4.75 million. Nearly two weeks into his first training camp with the Steelers, Green still hasn’t emerged from the physically unable to perform list. Ostensibly absent due to lingering ankle issues that were addressed via January surgery, Green seems to be no closer to practicing than he was when camp opened.

As Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explained on Thursday’s PFT Live, Green isn’t seen much, engaging only in limited daily running. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that the team remains tight lipped about Green, with coach Mike Tomlin simply saying, “He’s on PUP.”

That’s still more than quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. When recently discussing the tight end situation, Roethlisberger (per Bouchette) didn’t even mention Green.

The situation has prompted Bouchette to ask whether the Steelers blew it by signing Green. That question will get louder, especially if/when more time passes with Green not practicing.

These observations come at a time when folks in the know have mused about the possibility that Green will never play for the Steelers, with injured reserve eventually becoming a potential outcome for a player who presumably passed a physical at some point. Whether it’s the ankle that’s keeping Green from playing or something else physically is going on and the ankle is the official explanation, a sense has lingered over the past couple of weeks that Green isn’t close to being ready to play for the Steelers, and that he may never be.

14 responses to “When will Ladarius Green join the Steelers, if ever?

  1. It was known he needed surgery when free agency hit, and they signed him the first day of free agency. I’m not sure if he had a physical because he wouldn’t have been healthy. Until a doctor can confirm he had a setback and it’s delaying the recovery schedule it is impossible to know. Has anyone even said he was behind schedule? If so I missed that.

  2. I actually agree with this article and am a little worried about this signing. They will really have dropped the ball if this dude can’t play. He had surgery in January and its August. That is 7 months and there are still issues? The whole thing stinks of season ending issues. Unless this dude is just a huge baby I do not think we see him this year. If that is the case, the medical evaluator needs to be looked at for passing him.

  3. The steelers almost never spend money on free agents, and when they do, it’s this stiff. It’s not like they didn’t know he had ankle surgery. Colbert is a hot mess. Coach and GM are hurting a talented team’s chances.

  4. Time to rethink the TE position in fantasy. I was hoping I’d be able to add Green late as a potential sleeper. I didn’t mean literally.

  5. The ankle surgery apparently involved the insertion of plates — which means the damage probably extended to bones as well as ligaments/tendons. Not an injury one recovers from quickly.

    That Green actually played on the injured ankle for 2-3 games before going on injured reserve probably means that he doesn’t suffer from a lack of mental fortitude. If anything, his playing those games might indicate the opposite problem: prudence would have suggested that he shut it down for the season earlier than he did. True, the Chargers’ receiving corps had been destroyed by injury, but it was obvious that Green was not doing himself any favors, and his team few, by soldiering on when the ankle injury hampered his cutting. (Most painfully obvious example of how the ankle affected Green that I remember from late last season: In the Chiefs game, Rivers threw Green a catchable deep ball, leading Green inside — a ball Green would usually catch — but he couldn’t make the lateral adjustment to the throw with his feet and it fell incomplete to his left.)

    Admitted it sucks that Green’s not on the field with Ben and the first team — I was (and am) excited to see what he can do in a starting gig with a great offense. As a Steelers newcomer obviously he can use as many reps as possible to get acclimated. But better to be patient, and phase Green in as he heals properly, than to rush him back and cause a setback. I’d rather see Green 100% for the second half and playoffs than see him play a full season at the level he was at the last few weeks of the 2015 season. And way too soon to hit the panic button on the signing: when he’s healthy, Green’s a deep threat, a tall red-zone target who can high-point passes over the heads of defensive backs, and a nice safety valve who can turn short passes into 25-yard gains. No reason to think that will not be true when he’s fully rehabbed.

  6. ariani1985 says:
    Aug 11, 2016 11:32 AM

    my pathetic Packers gave cook over 15 million and he is on PUP!
    —————–

    You could have said “My Packers, who have made the playoffs seven consecutive years, gave Cook over 2.5 million and he’s off PUP and doing well!” to be more factually accurate, but we’re proud of you for finally admitting who your favorite team is.

  7. Antonio Gates has been a stud for a long time but clearly on the downside of his career. Green was mentioned for several years as his replacement. Yet, SD appears to have made no attempt at re-signing him. Makes me wonder if they knew something that the Steelers didn’t because they saw Green everyday.

    And, if he can’t play, it is a prime example as to why the Steelers generally avoid making big splashes in free agency.

  8. It’s being reported that the issue is not his ankle, but recurring headaches. Kind of difficult to find someone to blame for something like that.

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