Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen has proved he can be a high-level player in the NFL. Assuming he's playing.
He missed the Steelers' Week 15 loss at Dallas last year, and missed a large chunk of training camp this season. He was injured toward the end of the Steelers' Week 1 loss to Tennessee.
Allen's injury history wasn't the reason the Steelers signed cornerback William Gay this offseason, but it's looking like a better move now, in wake of Allen's absences.
Gay had two pass break-ups last week, as the Steelers largely shut down Tennessee's passing game. Facing a considerably better passing attack this week against Cincinnati, look for the Steelers to use rookie Shamarko Thomas as the team's nickel back. Cornerback Curtis Brown is listed as doubtful, after battling an illness all week. With such perilous depth at the cornerback position (only special teams player Antwon Blake is listed behind Brown on the depth chart), it wouldn't be surprising to see the team make a move for someone in the waning hours before the game. Isaiah Green is on the team's practice squad as of Sunday morning.
Gay's issues are more based in deep coverage when he's on the outside, and with safety being Thomas's natural position, it will be interesting to see what the Steelers might do with the side opposite A.J. Green.
Cornerback Ike Taylor will shadow Green around the field, as is common against high-level receivers.
The odds of tight end Heath Miller playing in this game weren't ever good, and he's been officially ruled out. Kicker Shaun Suisham (hamstring) will kick for Pittsburgh, and Le'Veon Bell is out for this game.
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