The Pittsburgh Steelers held their final practice in preparation for their matchup Sunday with the Denver Broncos. In the final injury report of the week courtesy of the Steelers PR department, David DeCastro and Stefen Wisniewski have been ruled out while no other players carry an injury status.
With both the starter and primary reserve out at right guard for the Steelers, all indications point to rookie fourth-round draft pick Kevin Dotson to get his first NFL start in his second NFL game. Although considered a future starter for the Steelers, Dotson being forced to step into a starting role so early is not something the Steelers had planned on. But as head coach Mike Tomlin often says, “Next man up.”
Not only will Dotson be stepping in it right guard for the Steelers, Chukwuma Okorafor will be sliding into the right tackle position in place of Zach Banner who had ACL surgery on Friday and will be out for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Another question about the Dotson will be who will be acting as a reserve. The Steelers have guard/center J.C. Hassenauer and a newly signed tackle Jerald Hawkins on the roster. With the Steelers able to dress eight offensive lineman, chances are they will be elevating one of their practice squad players for the game by using the new rule for the 2020 season. If the Steelers choose to not elevate another offensive lineman for the game, they will have to play with only 47 active players on the roster, something they accidentally did in Week 1.
The most likely candidate to be elevated from the practice squad for the Steelers for Week 2 is 2019 seventh-round draft pick Derwin Gray. The other candidates are tackles Anthony Coyle and Jarron Jones who fill out the teams offensive lineman on the practice squad.
UPDATE: The Steelers have placed Stefen Wisniewski on the Reserve/Injured List and promoted Derwin Gray to the active roster. Wisniewski must spend at least three weeks on the list before returning to the team.
Running back James Conner was also able to practice for the second straight day on Friday and looks to play on Sunday. Whether or not Conner will get the start or if it will be Benny Snell Jr. remains to be seen. Snell rushed for 113 yards filling in for Conner after he left Monday night’s game against the Giants with an ankle injury.
As for the Broncos’ injury report, you can see the names below:
Phillip Lindsay, Mark Barron are OUT, three players are questionable on the final injury report for #DENvsPIT: pic.twitter.com/8GtdqpLkcI— Aric DiLalla (@AricDiLalla) September 18, 2020
For a recap of the injury report, check out the BTSC Steelers Injury Update podcast below: