Steelers place Spaeth on short-term IR

September, 3, 2013
9/03/13
6:30
PM ET
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers, as expected, placed tight end Matt Spaeth on the short-term injured reserve list Tuesday afternoon. They stayed within the organization to fill the seventh-year veteran's spot on the roster.

Spaeth
The Steelers signed Terence Garvin from the practice squad, and the undrafted rookie from West Virginia gives the team nine linebackers on its 53-man roster.

Spaeth has to spend at least eight weeks on the list that allows a team to designate one injured player who can return during the season.

Spaeth is still on crutches after sustaining a Lisfranc injury during training camp. Using the injured-reserve exemption on him leaves the Steelers four tight ends on the roster -- three healthy ones with starter Heath Miller (knee) doing some individual drills at practice but still not ready to play in a game.

Earlier Tuesday, coach Mike Tomlin talked about how the Steelers will use their tight ends with Miller out, and there will be a rotation of the three healthy ones with offensive lineman Kelvin Beachum also factoring in at the position.

This makes the most sense since David Johnson and Michael Palmer are blocking tight ends while David Paulson's forte is catching passes.

“That's going to be a committee-oriented group based on their skill sets,” Tomlin said. “I think that's an appropriate way to do it.”

The Steelers have now made four moves since final cuts on Saturday. Tomlin did not rule out the team tweaking the bottom of the roster further after going outside of the organization to add offensive lineman Cody Wallace, cornerback Antwon Blake and punter Zoltan Mesko.

The Steelers coveted Wallace because he can play center in case of an injury to three-time Pro Bowler Maurkice Pouncey. Blake has “upside” as a cornerback, Tomlin said, but the former Jaguar is with the Steelers because of his prior special-teams play.

Tomlin said the Steelers liked Mesko for a number of reasons including his strength of leg and the fact that he is used to kicking in bad weather after playing his college ball at Michigan and spending the past three seasons with the Patriots.

Mesko is the new holder, and he will have to adjust to kicker Shaun Suisham and vice versa. But, as Tomlin pointed out, Suisham has already had three different holders in two-plus seasons with the Steelers.

“Shaun Suisham is not a high-maintenance kicker from that standpoint,” Tomlin said. “We're going to work at it this week, give it its due diligence, but it's not something that's overly worrisome. Mesko is a professional and that's one of the reasons why we acquired him.”

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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