Shamarko Thomas saw one snap in Sunday’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. But he could be in store for a lot more playing time against Kansas City.
The Steelers have a slew of injuries, including two at safety. Robert Golden sounds 50/50, at best, with a hamstring injury while Sean Davis injured his back during the game, according to Mike Tomlin. Though the latter injury doesn’t sound serious, for a young guy like Davis, missing any practice reps is a huge hindrance to being prepared for a game.
“Him being a young guy, he needs to be able to practice in order to participate,” Tomlin told the media at today’s press conference.
Those injuries could create an opportunity for a guy like Thomas to play and Tomlin acknowledged that much when asked by our own David Todd.
“We’re going to look at him and others in terms of how we allocate the division of labor. We acknowledge there’s going to be an opportunity for an expansion of roles for some people this week given some of the injury circumstances. I’m sure he and others are looking forward to an opportunity to number one, prove that they’re capable in preparation and then ultimately, number two, go play.”
Tomlin later mentioned Justin Gilbert, as Dave just wrote about, as someone else who could see expanded playtime Sunday though of course, they’re two different positions.
Again, Thomas played one snap in the Eagles game, in the Steelers’ dime package. But he didn’t replace Golden in that dime linebacker role, but as the deep safety opposite Mike Mitchell while Davis stayed in the slot and William Gay shifted to that Golden role. It’s unclear if that would be Thomas’ role in dime if he saw action there going forward or if that was a one play aberration.
Thomas has three tackles this season, all coming on special teams, where he’s served as a valuable gunner on punts and coverage man on kicks, usually playing in the L1 or L2 spot.