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.