Steelers release James Harrison to make room for Marcus Gilbert
Pittsburgh Steelers legend James Harrison has been released by the organization to make room for starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert’s return from suspension, the Steelers announced on Saturday.
Harrison has played in just five games for the Steelers in 2017 after signing a two-year deal to return to the organization in the offseason, and has predominantly been a healthy scratch in games he hasn’t played. Unfortunately, he’s simply been surpassed on the depth chart by younger players at outside linebacker and continuing to use a roster spot on him can get tough later in the season with players coming and going from various exempt lists.
He could still be brought back onto the 53-man roster at some point next week depending on if anybody is injured this weekend, but recent comments about how he wouldn’t have signed with the Steelers if he could go back and do it over might cast some doubt on that possibility.
Meanwhile, Gilbert has finished serving a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and should return to the starting lineup. Chris Hubbard has been manning the right tackle position in his absence and has played well, so he could still see significant reps and should go back to being used as an extra tackle in heavy sets.