The Pittsburgh Steelers season is hanging on by a thread as we head into Week 8. They have struggled on both sides of the ball in what looks like could be the first losing season of Mike Tomlin’s head coaching career.
Pittsburgh’s season was derailed in Week 1 when they lost all-world pass rusher, T.J. Watt, to a torn pectoral. While it was reported that he would be able to return before the conclusion of the season, his return was delayed because he also underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knee.
Cleaning everything up was a good decision, as there was no reason to rush Watt back for what could be a lost season. Getting him healthy for 2023 should be of the utmost importance for the Steelers, but you can be sure that the players healthy and active aren’t going to pack it in for the remainder of the season.
Looking to remain as competitive as possible, the Steelers need to find some pass-rushing help to get the defense back on track. A normally excellent pass rush has been struggling this season as they have only 12 sacks on the season.
One player that could offer the Steelers some help in that department is Dee Ford. Ford was released by the San Francisco 49ers ahead of the regular season, but he was reportedly healthy when he was released. He ended up on IR last season with a back injury and has appeared in only 18 games since the 2019 season, but he is the exact kind of player that Pittsburgh should be taking a flier on at this point.
While his playing time has been limited, Ford has been productive when he can get on the field. In those 18 games, he has registered 9.5 sacks with 24 quarterback pressures. Even in a part-time role, Ford can still provide the Steelers with a good amount of production.
Still only 31, Ford could be someone that contributes to the Steelers beyond this season if he can remain healthy and produce at the level that he has been. With this season looking like a lost one, this is a low-risk, high-reward type of move for Pittsburgh to make.