MONDAY, 2:37pm: The Steelers have officially placed Beachum on the injured reserve list, signing tackle Byron Stingily to replace him, the team announced today (via Twitter). Stingily, who was released by the Titans during the team’s cutdown to 53 players in September, worked out for the Colts, Bears, Chargers, and Dolphins in recent weeks before finding a new home in Pittsburgh.
SUNDAY, 4:26pm: The Steelers’ bad injury luck has continued, as head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed to reporters, including Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link), that left tackle Kelvin Beachum suffered a torn ACL during today’s win over the Cardinals. Beachum will presumably be placed on injured reserve in the coming days and miss the rest of the season.
As Garafolo notes, the injury is especially devastating for Beachum as he is an impending free agent; he and the Steelers had engaged in contract negotiations earlier this year, but couldn’t come to an agreement. Obviously, hindsight is 20/20, but because Beachum did not end up signing an extension, he will now enter free agency coming off a very serious injury, with his availability for the beginning of the 2016 season up in the air.
Beachum, 26, is a late-round success story, having developed from a seventh-round draft choice into a high-quality starter at left tackle. He became the full-time starter during the 2013 season, and has played exceptionally well, stabilizing the left side of a solid Pittsburgh offensive line. Alejandro Villanueva, a former member of the U.S. Army with little professional experience, entered the game as Beachum’s replacement, but it’s unclear if he’ll be the club’s left tackle going forward.
Beachum is the second key Steelers offensive lineman to suffer a major injury this season, as center Maurkice Pouncey is also expected to miss the rest of the year after undergoing complications while rehabbing his ankle injury. It’s not just Pittsburgh’s offensive line that has fallen victim to injuries, of course, as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has also been out for several weeks with a knee ailment.