Throughout the Ben Roethlisberger, Cameron Heyward, Marcus Gilbert and other injury news spreading throughout the Pittsburgh Steelers stratosphere Monday and Tuesday, a minor change has been made to the team’s official depth chart.
Markus Wheaton, who has missed more games than he has officially played in, has been supplanted by Darrius Heyward-Bey as the team’s official No. 2 wide receiver.
There are those who will read this and say, “Who cares, Wheaton hasn’t played most of the season anyways.” And they would be correct; however, this decision could pay dividends to the Steelers in a variety of ways.
Heyward-Bey still has the speed and athleticism to take the top off the defense, and provide space for Antonio Brown opposite him to run. This will create a natural spot for Heyward-Bey, and allow Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers to both return to their roles within the team’s offensive scheme and system.
The question then becomes, what does the team do with Wheaton?
Wheaton claims to be near 100-percent healthy after dealing with the same shoulder injury which saw him miss the first two games of the 2016 regular season. It looks as if Wheaton will have to work his way back up the depth chart, and outperform others ahead of him, before he is considered to be a viable option once again.
In fact, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility for Wheaton to sit out the Week 9 game against the Baltimore Ravens and allow Cobi Hamilton, Sammie Coates and Eli Rogers to round out the team’s wide receiver corps with Brown and Heyward-Bey.
A small shake up, but it paints a different picture for the Steelers wide receiving corps from top to bottom.
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