Plaxico Burress Faces Competition to Retain Pittsburgh Steelers Roster Spot Post-Injury

By Thomas Emerick
Plaxico Burress
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I have always sympathized with Plaxico Burress.

Carrying an unregistered gun in his sweatpants to a club in a state that publishes quite harshly for such things was completely stupid, I admit.

At the same time, he just seemed like a genuinely good guy who made — again — really, really idiotic mistake. And I’m not just saying that as a New York Giants fan who got his first alive-and-lucid Super Bowl from Burress’ game-winning touchdown catch.

The latest unfortunate occurrence in Burress’ NFL career turned out to be as simple as a training camp injury. However, it’s one that should keep him out for the 2013 regular season, as torn rotator cuffs will do. Burress is already at 37 years old and it’s hard to imagine the Pittsburgh Steelers, who just signed undrafted rookie receiver Tyler Shaw, will hold the roster spot for him until after this season.

Burress recorded just three receptions on seven targets for the Steelers in 2013 — with as many touchdonws thrown in his direction as interceptions (1) — and Burress seemed like more of a red-zone novelty thanks to his 6-5 height and extraordinary wingspan.

Burress also has Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Markus Wheaton and Jerricho Cotchery sitting ahead of him on the depth chart anyways. And with the savvy hands Wheaton showed against the New York Giantsin Pittsburgh’s first preseason game, it’s very likely that four Steelers roster spots devoted to receiver will be consumed heading into the 2014 offseason.

I completely wish Burress the best and feel he’s been punished beyond what he deserved, but he’s also turning 37 with a torn rotator cuff. There is no shame in retiring from a brutal game like tackle football less than three years short of 40.

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