The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their offseason roster purge Friday, announcing Smith and veteran linebacker James Farrior will be released before the next league year begins March 13. Smith is expected to retire.|||||||
Smith and Farrior served as the backbone of a defense that led the franchise to two Super Bowl titles and three AFC championships over the last decade, a period in which the Steelers defense finished ranked in the top 10 in the league every season.
Smith is on the inactive list for Sunday's game against Jacksonville.|||||||
Smith misses his second in a row with a foot injury. Ziggy Hood will start for him.
Smith will not play in the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers.|||||||
Smith has not played since Oct. 24, when he tore a triceps muscle in a win at Miami.
The Steelers scrambled on Wednesday to replace Smith, the run-smothering defensive end who was placed on the injured reserve list with a torn rotator cuff in his right shoulder.|||||||
Smith has been to the Pro Bowl only once in 11 seasons and isn't as well-known nationally. But several Steelers said Smith might be the most difficult defensive player to replace because he is so critical not only to stopping the run, but to keeping the line of scrimmage under control for the pass rush to work.
Smith, one of the Pittsburgh Steelers' best defensive players, is out for the rest of the season after he tore a biceps muscle during their 21-point loss at New England on Sunday.|||||||
Smith, an excellent run defender and one of the Steelers' most reliable players since breaking into the NFL in 1999, tried to keep playing during the 34-13 loss, but had to be replaced several times. Coach Mike Tomlin knew that was a bad sign, and post-game tests revealed the tear. Smith apparently was not hurt on a specific play, but may have gone into the game with a partial tear that became worse as he played.