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Steelers LB Cole Holcomb Named Cut Candidate

The Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Payton Wilson, but does that spell certain doom for Cole Holcomb after his serious injury?

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Pittsburgh Steelers LB Cole Holcomb
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Cole Holcomb watches from the sideline during his team's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Acrisure Stadium on Oct. 29, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a devastating rash of injury luck in 2023 at the linebacker position. Kwon Alexander suffered a torn Achilles, Elandon Roberts dealt with and played through multiple injuries, and Cole Holcomb was hammered with a massive knee injury. Roberts is projected to be back and healthy, but Holcomb’s knee injury may be so severe he will not play to start the season. So, the team signed Patrick Queen and drafted Payton Wilson.

General manager Omar Khan has shared multiple times this offseason that Holcomb is working hard to get back for the season, but they do not have a clear timetable on when he will be back on the football field.

Steelers LB Cole Holcomb

Steelers LB Cole Holcomb comes out of tunnel – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“He just had a checkup a few weeks back and it was a favorable one, but I don’t have any details about calendar from a calendar perspective or levels of availability and when I still think we are decent ways out and I’d be speculating,” Mike Tomlin said earlier this offseason.

That led Bleacher Report to speculate that Holcomb could be a cut candidate for the Steelers, even with his high-level of play a season ago when healthy. Pittsburgh has options, but if Holcomb is ready to play, it seems likely that the Steelers will play Holcomb in some capacity.

“The most unfortunate part of Cole Holcomb’s season-ending knee injury is that it might lead to his release,” they wrote. “This offseason, the Steelers signed high-priced Patrick Queen and added Payton Wilson in the draft.”

The first indication of where Holcomb is will be on Tuesday at offseason training activities. If Holcomb takes the field, even for just drills, that would mean he is on the path to starting the season healthy. If not, the question will still remain, but it’s hard to see Holcomb getting cut before this season, either way. Pittsburgh will need Holcomb’s skills in that linebacker room when he comes back to the team.