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Heath Miller expected to come off PUP list before regular season

Heath Miller

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) stands on the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. The Giants won 18-13. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Despite injuries clouding the availability of three players at the position, the Steelers aren’t planning to add a tight end to the roster during training camp.

That’s the word from Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a report that says the Steelers are content to go with David Paulson as their starter at the position if they don’t get other players healthy in time for the regular season. The player they’d most like to get back is Heath Miller, who is still on the PUP list after tearing his ACL last season.

Dulac reports that the team’s plan is to activate Miller from the list before the start of the regular season, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’ll play in the season opener. The team plans to let him practice for a few weeks before deciding when to let him play in a game, something he wouldn’t be permitted to do for six weeks if the team doesn’t activate him from the list before setting their roster for the start of the season.

It’s a similar course of action to the one they took with running back Rashard Mendenhall last season. Mendenhall missed the first few weeks of the season after coming off the PUP list during the summer and made his debut in the fourth game of the year.

Miller’s an important part for the offense even when everyone’s healthy, but he’s even more important with Matt Spaeth out for 8-10 weeks after surgery on a Lisfranc injury in his foot and David Johnson’s availability unclear after arthroscopic surgery to clean up some cartilage after a torn ACL last season.