The regular season is here, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking their practices at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the real work is now upon us, there is plenty left to be done.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they wade through a regular season in which they are, at least supposed to be, among the favorites to win the Super Bowl.
Question: What is going on with Cody Wallace?
Last season, veteran reserve offensive lineman Cody Wallace was, including the playoffs, an 18-game starter. If I recall correctly, he only came off the field all season for two snaps for the final two plays of a game in a kneel-down situation.
But over the course of the first seven weeks of the 2016 season, he has barely even practiced after suffering a knee injury during the preseason that was initially classified as a hyperextension, but which has clearly proven to be more serious than initially believed. He has already undergone some sort of clean-up procedure, but we have not had an update on him in a while.
The last time that Wallace was on the practice field was on the Wednesday in preparation for the second game of the season. He was a non-participant for the final two practice sessions of that week, and obviously did not dress for the game. At some point after that first practice is when he had his knee scoped.
What is somewhat concerning, though, is the lack of any updates, unless I have simply missed them. We have heard about Ladarius Green and Ben Roethlisberger. We have heard about Marcus Gilbert. We have even heard about Bud Dupree.
But where is Wallace? Is his roster spot vulnerable? Considering the job that B.J. Finney did stepping in as a starter at left guard earlier in the season—and the fact that he is a more natural center than guard—not to mention the fact that Chris Hubbard can also play all five positions along the offensive line, it’s not unreasonable that his roster spot could be in jeopardy in the form of being moved to the injured reserve list.
One would think that the Steelers would have already taken that course of action by now if that is where it is headed, but they didn’t do that in the case of Senquez Golson, and the fact is that they don’t need the roster spot right now. But it seems that they will soon for Green, and perhaps for Dupree not long after.
Pittsburgh has done with eight linemen in the past plenty of times, including through most of last season. If there is no progress in terms of him returning to practice next week, it wouldn’t be surprising at all to see him get moved.