Steelers News

Tomlin Says Feiler’s Body Improvement May Reveal His Position Flexibility

The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted tackle Matt Feiler from their practice squad on Saturday due to injuries to other members of their offensive line and while the former undrafted free agent didn’t play in Sunday’s win over the New York Jets, he was dressed as a backup. On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Feiler and whether or not he can play guard in addition to tackle.

“He’s improved his body first and foremost,” Tomlin said. “He came to us; he was probably a 335-pound guy. He’s probably in the high-teens now. It starts there. It’s helped his mobility, his lateral quickness, his endurance, in terms of how fatigue sets in on him. I think that has created a situation that maybe position flexibility is revealed to us because of those improved conditionings and movement.

“So, were excited what he’s done for us, we’ll continue to give him an opportunity. I think some of the short lines at his position has provided opportunities where he’s getting reps that are not just scout team reps, but real reps and he’s done a good job with it.”

Feiler needed to be promoted from the practice squad on Saturday due to the injuries suffered to tackles Marcus Gilbert and Ryan Harris in the Week 4 Sunday night game against the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, Harris, who suffered a leg hematoma in that game, was placed on the team’s Reserve/Injured list on Saturday in order to make room for Feiler on the roster.

Feiler certainly shouldn’t be a stranger to how the Steelers do things as he spent his entire 2015 season on the team’s practice squad, The Bloomsburg University product entered the league in 2014 with the Houston Texans and spent his rookie season on their practice squad.

With Gilbert likely to be sidelined for a second conductive game on Sunday, Chris Hubbard is once again expected to start in his place at right tackle against the Miami Dolphins. In other words, Feiler could once again dress on Sunday and be Hubbard’s backup. Once Gilbert is healthy, it will be interesting to see if Feiler is kept on the 53-man roster and especially being as we are almost to the time of year when teams start plucking players off of other team’s practice squads.

Keep in mind that center/guard Cody Wallace is likely to be healthy enough to start dressing for games after the bye week and should that ultimately happen, Feiler would then become a prime candidate to be waived if a roster spot is ever needed. If that were to happen, the team would obviously then look to get him back to the practice squad assuming he clears waivers.

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