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Steelers deliver promised ‘changes’ with a few ‘shakeups’ on the depth chart

The team released an updated depth chart on Tuesday evening. Here’s what has changed.

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Desmond King II (25) returns the punt in the second quarter during the NFL game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Houston Texans on October 1, 2023 at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers promised some changes after a tumultuous start to the season. While most fans are probably wishing those changes came at offensive coordinator, what we’ve seen so far are a few small changes to the depth chart.

Here’s a look at what’s new.

Steelers depth chart updates (Week 5)

Calvin Austin III is listed as a starting WR.

He’s replaced Diontae Johnson, who is on injured reserve, so this isn’t quite the shakeup that it might seem.

Keeanu Benton is listed as a co-starter at DT with DeMarvin Leal.

Week 4 marked the second game this season where Benton has outsnapped Leal on defense, albeit in both instances, injury played a part. In Week 1, Leal left the game with an elbow injury, meanwhile in Week 4, he was ruled out with a concussion.

CB Desmond King listed as a co-starter at nickel with Chandon Sullivan. He’s also now listed as the starting kick returner.

His spot as the starting kick returner isn’t surprising; he functioned there in Week 4 while the team has worked on a replacement for Anthony McFarland Jr., the team’s starting returner prior to a knee injury that landed him on IR. What is surprising is King being listed as a co-starter at nickel, as he has yet to play a single defensive snap for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

For those curious — no, rookie CB Joey Porter Jr. is not listed as a starter. Instead, he remains buried behind Patrick Peterson. Per NFL NextGenStats, when Peterson is the nearest defender in coverage, he leads the Steelers in receiving yards allowed (374) and passer rating allowed to opposing quarterbacks (124.1), including 5 touchdowns allowed.