The Pittsburgh Steelers must cut their roster to 75 by 4 p.m. ET Tuesday and to 53 by 4 p.m. ET Saturday. Here’s a final 53-man roster projection:
The Steelers typically carry three quarterbacks, so Gradkowski hangs on assuming his hamstring injury heals by Week 2 or 3. Yes, Jones is still the primary backup. The Steelers like his growth.
Le'Veon Bell’s Week 4 return from suspension likely will knock Richardson out of play. But the shifty former Los Angeles Ram has worked his way into the rotation for now.
FULLBACK (1): Roosevelt Nix
Nix has minimal competition at this spot, and though he’s been nursing an injury in recent weeks, he should be ready for Week 1.
Harris is a valuable swing tackle and Hubbard can play all five positions on the line. Finney, a feisty practice squad player, slides into the lineup after fourth-round pick Jerald Hawkins goes to injured reserve with a torn labrum.
This is assuming Ladarius Green (ankle) starts the season on the PUP list. If Green recovers by Week 1, the Steelers will either keep four tight ends or try to stash Grimble on the practice squad if he clears waivers. Johnson is a valuable run-blocker, which the Steelers need.
Rogers is starting in the slot for Pittsburgh. Cobi Hamilton has shown flashes of athleticism but will come up short. Five is enough for now.
Walton was uninspiring for parts of camp, but has garnered respect from teammates such as Cam Heyward, and the team needs depth at this spot. That’s why Matthews stays on too.
This is the Steelers’ deepest defensive position. Matakevich, a seventh-round rookie, plays his way onto a crowded inside linebacker group for special teams work. Fort has been good too. The odd man out might be veteran Steven Johnson, but he’s valuable on special teams, so he stays in this projection. The Steelers might try to stash sixth-round pass-rusher Travis Feeney on the practice squad.
Yet again, the Steelers have depth issues at cornerback. Senquez Golson is out for at least the first half of the season, and Burns missed much of the preseason with a quad injury. Garner gets the edge over Donald Washington as a fourth corner, but don’t be surprised if the team adds a veteran, possibly Keenan Lewis if healthy. This position does not feel finalized by any stretch.
Davis is basically a corner and safety, so he could go on either list. There isn't a lot of depth here but maybe Grant, making the transition from cornerback, can catch up.
This one is straightforward. None of these guys is in jeopardy of losing his job.