We have an explanation for why rookie WR Calvin Austin III wasn’t activated off IR today, ending his season before it ever began. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac, Austin suffered a setback rehabbing from his foot injury and will soon require surgery.
The exact nature of Austin’s original injury was never explicitly known. It occurred during the summer right before the team’s first preseason game. He missed the rest of the summer and was placed on IR prior to Week One. The team activated him October 5th, allowing him to practice and open up a three week window to return. Austin was spotted practicing and seemed optimistic to get on the field but evidently, he recently aggravated the foot injury while working his way back.
He will end his rookie season failing to appear in a game much less catching a pass. Hopefully, he’ll be healthy for OTAs next year and can try to restart his career in 2023. Of course, multiple foot injuries and at least one surgery for a guy who is reliant on speed, he ran a 4.32 at this year’s Combine, isn’t an ideal way to start a career. Austin was a dynamic threat at Memphis and flashed in training camp before getting hurt.