Wed, 21 Oct 2020

Steelers' line upheavel continues, Wisniewski goes on IR

Field Level Media
19 Sep 2020, 06:40 GMT+10

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed guard Stefen Wisniewski on injured reserve Friday due to a pectoral injury.

It is another blow for Pittsburgh's offensive line, which lost right tackle Zach Banner to a season-ending knee injury in Monday's season-opening victory over the New York Giants. Wisniewski, a 10-year veteran, also was injured against the Giants.

In addition, two-time Pro Bowl right guard David DeCastro (knee) will miss his second consecutive game when the Steelers host the Denver Broncos on Sunday. Wisniewski started in place of DeCastro against New York.

Wisniewski must miss at least three games before returning to the active roster.

Rookie guard Kevin Dotson will make his first career start. Dotson was a fourth-round pick out of Louisiana-Lafayette.

"He's naturally really strong," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said of Dotson. "I don't know how better to say it. He is just a naturally strong, tough-minded guy. The natural thing for him to do is get physical with somebody. Now, match the technique and fundamentals of a young player that makes his job so important and allows you to really achieve better and great successes at your position. Those are going to have to come with time. ... I'm excited for him to get his opportunity."

Chukwuma Okorafor will start at right tackle in place of Banner. It will be the fifth career start for Okorafor, a third-round pick in 2018 out of Western Michigan.

Pittsburgh promoted tackle Derwin Gray from the practice squad to fill Wisniewski's spot on the 53-man roster. Gray was a seventh-round pick in 2019 from Maryland.

Earlier in the week, the Steelers plucked tackle Jerald Hawkins off the Houston Texans' practice squad. Hawkins was a fourth-round pick from LSU in 2016 by Pittsburgh and played in five games (one start) for the club in 2017.

--Field Level Media

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