Should the Steelers need to “break glass in case of emergency,” will Bruce Gradkowski be available? After missing all of 2015 and finishing the 2014 season on injured reserve as well, the 11th-year veteran was hurt once again in Pittsburgh’s preseason opener against the Lions.
A source tells Jeremy Fowler for ESPN.com that Gradkowski sustained a “sizable hamstring tear” during Friday’s game. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin previously described it as a soft tissue injury that would cause the signal caller to miss a number of weeks.
Gradkowski was surpassed on the depth chart last season by the emergence of Landry Jones as a capable backup to Ben Roethlisberger. That being said, Roethlisberger has missed at least one game due to injury in eight of the past nine seasons, so the No. 3 in Pittsburgh usually suits up at some point.
If Gradkowski is to miss an extended period, it will be interesting to see if the Steelers add a quarterback. Dustin Vaughan, an undrafted player out of Texas A&M who spent time with the Cowboys and Bills, is also on the roster. Michael Vick, who appeared in five games for Pittsburgh last season, is still a free agent as well.
As long as Roethlisberger is healthy, Gradkowski’s injury is moot. Seeing as that often isn’t the case, it’s a situation to monitor.