The Pittsburgh Steelers are about to experience a good problem coming off a Week 7 bye week.
They are getting healthy.
One of the players who is finally getting back to the field is free agent acquisition, Morgan Burnett. Burnett has missed more games than he has participated in this season with a nagging groin injury, but the Week 7 bye week seems to have gotten the former Green Bay Packers safety ready to go.
Barring a setback, some fans are wondering who will start at safety if/when Burnett returns?
Rookie Terrell Edumunds, who has filled Burnett’s shoes during his absence? Or Burnett resuming the role he was signed to fill?
According to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, it will be Edmunds who remains the starter, whether Burnett is back or not.
Morgan Burnett appears to be back this week from injury. But will he start? "Right now I am still starting so that's how we are going into this week," Terrell Edmunds said. @TheAthleticPGH— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) October 25, 2018
Edmunds, who has had both his good and bad moments throughout the first 6 weeks of his NFL career, will be alongside Sean Davis, likely due to a bond and familiarity being developed over the course of the season.
If Burnett had been with the Steelers for the past several years, this story may read differently, but Burnett has just as much to learn about how the Steelers operate on the field on game days, as Edmunds does as a rookie.
On top of that, getting Burnett back will also help the defense in a different way. Burnett is a tremendous sub package linebacker who can cover tight ends, running backs and slot receivers. The main difference is he is also savvy, and talented, enough to stop the run with his above average tackling skills.
Having Burnett back will also hopefully eliminate opposing offenses from abusing the matchup with the linebacker in the slot. Anyone else remember watching Vince Williams trying to cover AJ Green in the Week 6 win in Cincinnati? Yeah, that isn’t ideal, and Burnett could help make sure those types of situations don’t happen.
Edmunds hasn’t set the world on fire, but getting Burnett back will certainly help the defense as a whole as Edmunds continues to get acclimated to his role and responsibilities at the NFL level.
Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for their Week 8 contest against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.