Steelers sign Trai Essex

It looks like Marcus Gilbert and Jonathan Scott’s injuries suffered last week in the preseason game against the Eagles aren’t going to be serious. But the Steelers are at least worried enough that they signed former Steeler Trai Essex to a 1-year deal this afternoon.

Essex has been a very reliable backup throughout his career and can play guard or tackle. He knows the system and how things work in Pittsburgh so this is a nice depth signing for the Steelers.

It’s possible that the move is totally unrelated to the injuries, but the guess here is that watching the Steelers top two LTs go down in a period of 15 minutes put a little bit of a scare in the front office. I know my head was in my hands after Gilbert limped off.

Ed Bouchette writes that there has even been talk of the team signing free agent Flozell Adams in addition to the Essex signing. The Steelers are obviously concerned about the depth at tackle as well.

I wrote earlier this year and mentioned elsewhere that if Jonathan Scott is the starting LT for the Steelers come week one, it will be a disaster. Getting by with a patchwork line worked for the Steelers last season, but that doesn’t mean it is a good approach to take in 2011 and beyond.