Steelers reach injury settlement, release Grimble


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Steelers tight end Xavier Grimble (85) -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

It doesn't appear the Steelers are going to wait around for injured tight end Xavier Grimble to recover from the calf injury that landed him on injured reserve last week.

Friday, the team reached an injury settlement with the fifth-year tight end and subsequently released him, meaning he is officially eligible to sign elsewhere.

Grimble became expendable when the Steelers traded a fifth-round draft pick to the Seahawks early last week to acquire veteran tight end Nick Vannett.

Grimble, who had been with the Steelers since joining their practice squad in 2015, was on the team's active roster since 2016, mostly serving as a third tight end. With backup Jesse James signing with the Lions in the offseason, the Steelers had hoped Grimble would take the necessary steps to become the top backup to Vance McDonald.

That never really happened, however, and the team was looking for a veteran backup to McDonald even before Grimble suffered the calf injury in a 24-20 loss in Week 3 to the 49ers.

Vannett is in the final season of his contact but sounds like a player who might want to stay in Pittsburgh for the long term.

"This is a team that really wanted me," he told me this week. "They really valued me. I like it here, so far."

Grimble has appeared in 47 career games, making 23 receptions for 239 yards and three touchdowns.

With Grimble gone, the Steelers' tight end depth chart now includes McDonald, Vannett and rookie Zach Gentry, a fifth-round draft pick from Michigan this year.

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