Pittsburgh Steelers: Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith

Hello again: Steelers bring back Allen

October, 10, 2013
PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers brought back another former player Thursday when they signed veteran safety Will Allen.

Allen played for the Steelers from 2010-12 and signed with the Dallas Cowboys last March. The 10th-year veteran started the Cowboys’ first two games of the season but he lost his job, and the team released him earlier this week.

The Steelers placed safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith on the waive/injured list to make room for Allen on the 53-man roster.

Cromartie-Smith, who has been hampered by a hip flexor, played exclusively on special teams.

Allen is the second player this week that the Steelers have brought back for a second stint with the team. They signed inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester on Wednesday.
PITTSBURGH -- Wednesday will be a telling day as far as whether or not the Steelers have to do more shuffling along the left side of their offensive line.

Left guard Ramon Foster is slated to practice at least on a limited basis when the Steelers don the pads in preparation for Sunday when they visit the New York Jets.

Foster is nursing a minor pectoral strain, and he said that pain tolerance will be the determining factor on whether he can play against the Jets.

The fifth-year veteran was limited in practuce on Monday. The players are off on Tuesday.

“What he’s capable of doing in pads is going to be critical,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said at his weekly news conference.

If Foster is unable to play against the Jets, Kelvin Beachum or Guy Whimper will start at left guard. Beachum is also a leading candidate to start at left tackle following the demotion of Mike Adams.

Beachum would be available to start at left guard if the Steelers go with recently acquired Levi Brown at left tackle.

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton (finger) is the only Steelers player who has been ruled out for Sunday.

In addition to Foster, inside linebacker Kion Wilson (hamstring) and safety DaMon Cromartie-Smith (hip) will be limited this week by injuries.

Tomlin made no mention of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, tight end Heath Miller or running back Le’Veon Bell when he provided an injury update.

Roethlisberger slightly dislocated the index finger on his throwing hand in the Steelers’ 34-27 loss to the Vikings on Sept. 29. The Steelers held him out of practice last week along with Miller (knee) and Bell (foot) as a precaution.

None of the three is expected to be limited in practice this week as the Steelers prepare for their 1 p.m. game against the Jets.
PITTSBURGH – Picking 48 out of 53 is excellent by almost any measure. Projecting 53-man NFL rosters, which I did with the Steelers on Friday, is not one of them. The reason: So many of the players who make the roster are a given before a team's final cuts. Here are my misses and what I was thinking:
  • Jonathan Dwyer, RB: I didn't see this one coming even though Felix Jones' play generated speculation that Dwyer could be in trouble. I thought the final spot at running back would come down to Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling, since they are similar-type backs. Obviously the Steelers coaches had had enough of the talented but maddening Dwyer.
  • Alameda Ta'amu, NT: The 2012 fourth-round draft pick was beaten out by Hebron Fangupo. I thought the Steelers would keep Ta'amu because they invested a relatively high draft pick in him. He still has practice-squad eligibility, so don't be surprised if Ta'amu is signed there Sunday.
  • Alan Baxter, OLB: This had to be one of the tougher cuts for coach Mike Tomlin and his staff. Baxter was a force rushing the passer in the preseason, but special-teams considerations are why the Steelers kept Chris Carter over the undrafted rookie. Baxter is sure to end up on the practice squad if another team doesn't sign him.
  • Marshall McFadden, ILB: I had the Steelers keeping three backups at inside linebacker, and McFadden was the odd man out as rookie sixth-round pick Vince Williams and Kion Wilson made the team. McFadden still has practice-squad eligibility, so his time in Pittsburgh might not be done.
  • Terry Hawthorne, CB: I put the rookie fifth-round pick on the 53-man roster based on the investment the Steelers made in him but they went with Isaiah Green as their fifth cornerback. Offseason knee surgery really limited Hawthorne during training camp, and he obviously didn't show the coaches enough. Hawthorne is another candidate for the practice squad.