With it now looking like Pittsburgh Steelers starting center Maurkice Pouncey will be sidelined an extended amount of time due to an ankle injury suffered in the first quarter of the Sunday preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Cody Wallace figures to be the one who will start in his absence. With that being the likely outcome, the team might now need to find a suitable player to back him up.
In the Sunday game against the Packers guard Chris Hubbard saw action at center after Wallace exited the game. Hubbard, however, struggled in his first playing time at the position and that’s certainly concerning considering that he’s now the backup to Wallace.
The Steelers also have rookie undrafted free agent B.J. Finney on the roster, but the Kansas product has only played 10 snaps at center in the team’s first three preseason games. With two preseason games remaining, he might very well get more work over the ball in order to evaluate him.
If the Steelers find themselves unhappy with Hubbard and Finney, they might be forced to look at street free agents or pay close attention to the final round of cuts in order to find a suitable backup to Wallace who can also play guard.
A short time ago, Alex Kozora suggested that the Steelers should watch what happens to New York Jets offensive lineman Wesley Johnson. Johnson was drafted by the Steelers last year, but wound up in New York after the Jets claimed him off waivers. So far this preseason, Johnson has played a total of 51 snaps at both center and left guard. While it’s still early, Johnson figures to currently be on the Jets roster bubble.
A few years ago, the Steelers signed Wallace after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during their final round of cuts. The team might have to go a similar route again this year if they deem Hubbard and Finney as being unsuitable backups to Wallace.