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Antwon Blake to take over slot-cornerback position vs. Ravens

The fall from grace for Pittsburgh Steelers' cornerback Cortez Allen has been a quick one. Allen has gone from an every-down starter to now being strictly a special-teams player.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cortez Allen has been a hot topic among Pittsburgh Steelers fans the past month. Unfortunately for Allen, it's due to his poor play on the field that has fans mentioning his name. To put Allen's season in perspective, he has gone from an every-down starter to a special-teams player in the course of three weeks.

As practices began Wednesday in preparation for the Steelers game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football, Antwon Blake looks to be the defensive back filling the slot-cornerback role in sub-packages. That's the same position Allen filled against the Indianapolis Colts last week.

"From the looks of things right now, that's how it's going to be," Blake told Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The news of Allen's most recent demotion shouldn't shock anyone that follows the team closely. His production simply hasn't been good enough, but more importantly, Allen has turned into a liability on the back end of the defense.

What has most fans shaking their heads is the $26 million contact the Steelers gave Allen before the season began.

The Steelers have shown patience with many struggling players under Mike Tomlin, but Tomlin and defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau haven't hesitated to pull the cord on Allen and remove him from the lineup.

With Joe Flacco and the Ravens coming to Heinz Field Sunday, it will be worth watching to see if Baltimore decides to test Blake early in the game, just as opponents have done repeatedly when Allen was on the field.

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