With Pittsburgh Steelers starting left guard Ramon Foster still away mourning the unexpected death of his mother, it created an opportunity for another young offensive lineman to show his stuff with the first-team offense during Sunday’s practice.
Chris Hubbard, who spent the entire 2013 season on the Steelers practice after originally being signed last year as an undrafted free agent out of UAB, was the proverbial next man up Sunday at left guard after backup center Cody Wallace filled that spot during Saturday’s practice.
While Hubbard failed to make the Steelers final 53 man roster out of training camp last year, he did play 158 snaps during the preseason and that tied him for the most on the offensive side of the football with former Steelers offensive lineman John Malecki.
Hubbard, who looked a little light last year during the preseason after reportedly weighing in at the Alabama pro day at 290 pounds, has surely put on some weight over the course of the last year in addition to hopefully getting stronger. At that pro day, the 6-foot-4 and a half offensive lineman turned in a blazing 4.71 in the 40-yard dash, so there’s no doubt that he can move.
Hubbard should be considered a bubble player right now and could be ultimately battling rookie fifth-round draft pick Wesley Johnson for a spot on the final 53 man roster this year. Barring something totally unforeseen, Hubbard should get a lot of playing time with the second-team offense at left guard once again during this year’s preseason games, so he could be somebody to keep an eye on.