As the Pittsburgh Steelers are now in the position of having to turn their attention to the 2014 season with their current playoff hopes on life support, you have to wonder which long-term members of the Steelers organization will be making their final appearances in the black-and-gold.
One of those such players is defensive end Brett Keisel, who’s contract expires at the end of the year and at the current age of 35, is unlikely to be re-signed in the offseason.
Unfortunately for Keisel, there is a chance that we may have already seen the last of him in a Steelers uniform.
Keisel re-aggravated a left foot injury during the Steelers’ Week 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens and by the sounds of things could miss some time.
The veteran missed two consecutive weeks with plantar fasciitis before returning Thanksgiving night against the Ravens, but had to leave early in the first half.
According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, Keisel will miss “some time” with the recent foot injury, which could put his return this season in jeopardy.
With only four weeks left in the regular season it would make sense if we don’t see Keisel again.
Keisel is no longer a great player but he still does some good things out there. That being said, it would make sense for Mike Tomlin to continue to get a long look at Ziggy Hood and others as a decision will have to be made on Hood as well as this is the final year of his current contract as well.
If Keisel is ready for the final week of the season, I don’t know how much sense it makes to play a veteran when you are trying to evaluate younger talent.
Of course there is an outside, although slim, chance that the final couple weeks of the season could still be meaningful. If that’s the case and Keisel is ready to go then the Steelers need to get him out there.
But if they are playing meaningless football games, that may not be the case.
If that’s so and we don’t get to see No. 99 and his trademark beard out there again, it was a great ride. But unfortunately there comes a time when you have to move on from a beloved player.
Keisel won’t be the first and he won’t be the last.