The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired cornerback Dashaun Phillips via a Wednesday night trade with the Washington Redskins and while he only has a few days to prepare for his new team’s third preseason game of 2017, it appears as though he might play Saturday night against the Indianapolis Colts.
“Excited to be out getting the new guy in the fold and maybe getting a chance to see what he’s capable of in a short period of time,” head coach Mike Tomlin said of Phillips during his Thursday press conference. “I know he’s an NFL-capable player. He’s played in this league. He’s played against us. All of those things were attractive.”
Phillips, who opened the 2016 regular season as the Redskins starting slot cornerback, played 46 snaps in that Week 1 game against the Steelers and recorded two tackles in that game. After starting the first three regular season games, Phillips was demoted and eventfully waived and signed to the Redskins practice squad. He did, however, find his way back on the Redskins 53-man roster later in the season and played their final two games.
So, what has Tomlin seen from Phillips’ tape that makes him think he contribute on defense in Pittsburgh?
“We’ll judge him in terms of what we can do with him based on what he does once he gets here,” Tomlin said when asked that question. “I think that’s the only thing that’s appropriate to do.”
At this point and assuming he indeed plays Saturday night, there’s a good chance that Phillips might ultimately be the Steelers third-string slot cornerback against the Colts. That, however, likely depends on where rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton plays at in the defense as he’s expected to make his NFL debut Saturday night after finally battling back from a hamstring injury.