On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed free agent tackle Guy Whimper to help bolster their depth on the offensive line and I speculated that tackle Marcus Gilbert might not be ready for the first OTA session that takes place in a few more weeks due to him coming off ankle surgery in December. Gilbert, however, told me tonight that the ankle is indeed fine and that he plans on working during the OTA session.
Gilbert injured the tendon in his right ankle in the Week 6 loss last season to the Tennessee Titans and flew to North Carolina shortly thereafter to see specialist, who deemed at that time that surgery wouldn\’t be necessary.
After being sidelined for several weeks, the Steelers 2011 second-round draft pick tried to resume practicing the week prior to the Week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, but was shut down for the season after just one practice. He was eventually placed on injured reserve on November 26th and had surgery performed on the injured ankle soon thereafter.
Now that we know that Gilbert plans to participate in the first OTA session, we will have to wait and see which side he lines up on in two weeks. Many have speculated that he will take over the left tackle spot this season with Mike Adams playing on the right side, but Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would only say during the pre draft press conference that both players are left tackle capable and that they will use the rest of the offseason to determine who plays on what side.
Whimper, who was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars in late February, is only expected to provide depth on the right side, assuming he ultimately makes the Steelers 53 man roster out of training camp.