The Pittsburgh Steelers were 26-20 victors over the Detroit Lions in Week 2 of the NFL Preseason, and fortunately the win was achieved without major injury. But that’s not to suggest it was without injury altogether.
During the game the Steelers lost defensive back Arthur Maulet with an ankle injury. Usually that wouldn’t be a major injury of concern, but when the player Maulet is battling for the slot corner in the nickel sub package, Antoine Brooks Jr., is also injured it puts a strain on the depth.
Arthur Maulet has a right ankle injury and will not return. Now the two guys battling for the slot corner job are injured. Antoine Brooks did not dress and has missed about the past 10 days.— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 22, 2021
Brooks opened camp as the first up to win the slot cornerback position once held by Mike Hilton. Brooks looked good in the Hall of Fame game vs. the Dallas Cowboys, but suffered an injury which he hasn’t returned from. Maulet has been the player to fill in for Brooks, and has shown promise at the position, but with both injured the Steelers will have to truly test their depth at the position.
The hope is Brooks will be healthy and able to play vs. the Carolina Panthers Friday night in the preseason finale, but if not the team would likely turn to some lesser known players, like Shakur Brown, to try their hand at the position.
It should be noted how there are rumors the Steelers will deploy a cornerback at the slot position depending on the situation. In other words, if the Steelers wanted to have more of a run-stopping front, Brooks would likely be called upon. If they wanted more of a pass-stopping front, someone like Maulet would be brought in.
This will be a position to watch both on the injury front, and how the Steelers plan on deploying their sub packages prior to the Week 1 game vs. the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park.
There were no other major injuries of note during the game, but JuJu Smith-Schuster did go into the medial blue tent after being hit in the third quarter. However, Bob Pompeani of KDKA caught Smith-Schuster doing one of his famous Tik Tok dances on the Steelers’ logo in the middle of the field after the game.
Some might suggest he is fine. Other than those injuries, the Steelers escaped the game relatively unscathed, and will now prepare for the Panthers Friday night. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news, including roster cut downs to get their roster from 85 to 80 players by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.