After catching 53 passes for 644 yards and two touchdowns last season, the arrow appeared to be pointing up for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton and especially since he was able to stay healthy and dress in all 16 games. That arrow, however, now appears to be pointing back in the other direction for Wheaton when you look at his stats heading into Week 8.
With 7 games already in the books, Wheaton has only registered 12 total catches for 252 yards. In his defense, he’s only been targeted a total of 24 times so far this season and just 10 times in the four games that starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed with his left MCL injury.
“Just as far as touching the ball, (I’m struggling), that’s all,” Wheaton said recently, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Just as far as involvement, again, that’s not anything that I’m complaining about and not anything I’m emphasizing or anything like that.”
Now that Roethlisberger is returning to action, it will be interesting to see if Wheaton, the team’s former third-round draft pick, winds up being included a little more in the passing game. At the very least, perhaps he will be thrown a few more catchable footballs as that’s something the Steelers backup quarterbacks struggled to do during the time that Roethlisberger was sidelined.
While Wheaton probably hasn’t been as involved in the Steelers offense as much as he would like, the soft-spoken Oregon State product certainly isn’t one to complain about it as he knows winning games is all that matters.
“I feel I’m not doing as well as I was last year. That’s always a disappointment, said Wheaton. “But as long as we can get the offense going and win games, that’s what’s most important.”
Wheaton is under contract through the 2016 season and he’s played 288 total offensive snaps so far this year.