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Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: ‘We’ll see where the week leads us’ on Dan Moore vs. Broderick Jones in Week 7

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Broderick Jones (77) looks on during the regular season NFL football game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers on October 08, 2023 at Acrisure Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA. Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers fans got their first look at 2023 first-round rookie left tackle Broderick Jones in Week 5, who notched his first career start following a knee injury to starter Dan Moore Jr. Now, after news broke that Moore returned to practice Monday following a Week 6 bye and received first-team reps, many are wondering if that means the rookie is headed back to the bench.

Tuesday, HC Mike Tomlin was asked, “If Dan Moore is healthy, does he start at left tackle [in Week 7]?”

“That’s a big if,” Tomlin replied. “We’ve got some work ahead of us. He’ll be given an opportunity to show his progress over the course of the week, and we’ll make that decision at the appropriate time. It doesn’t behoove us to make hypothetical statements at the early portions of the week. He looked pretty good yesterday; we’ll see where the week leads us.”

Regardless of the health of Moore, the relegation of Jones back to the bench would be ludicrous — a decision to keep a rookie Broderick Jones on the bench for the sole reason that he is a rookie.

Among all offensive linemen to play at least 200 blocking snaps in 2023, here’s where Moore stands:

  • 29.3 PFF offensive grade (194th of 195 OL)
  • 19.1 PFF pass blocking grade (193rd of 195)
  • 42.2 PFF run blocking grade (187th of 195)
  • 20 pressures allowed (tied for 10th-most — the only OL to allow 20 pressures in fewer than five games played this season)
  • 5 QB hits allowed (tied for 6th-most — only OL to allow more than 4 QB hits in fewer than five games played this season)

For what it’s worth, starting in Week 5, Jones earned an overall PFF grade of 74.8, which ranked 29th among all offensive linemen on the week, allowing just a single pressure in 66 offensive snaps played.

All things considered, making a decision on Week 7’s starter at left tackle based on the injury status of Moore is just a symptom of the many issues plaguing this Steelers team — most of which stem from the top.