2017 South Side Questions: Will Cameron Sutton Be On His Own Sunday?

The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.

Question: If neither Coty Sensabaugh nor Joe Haden dress, will the Steelers leave Cameron Sutton on his own?

At the moment, it appears to be shaping up for rookie cornerback Cameron Sutton to make his first career start…against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, which is a less than ideal circumstance. Things can change between now and Sunday, but it’s an easy prediction to make right now.

Starting cornerback Joe Haden is just getting back on his feet while recovering from a fractured leg. He has run on a limited basis in practice so far for two days after missing several weeks. Meanwhile, Coty Sensabaugh, who was the primary player filling in for him, has missed all of practice so far this week.

That leaves open the very real possibility that Sutton is basically the last man standing at left outside cornerback. But would they really leave him out there without any alternative, even if he struggles? I would not be inclined to think so.

While I have seen no confirmation, I wouldn’t be surprised if William Gay took some reps on the outside this week. Gay, their dime back this season, has been a starter on the outside as recently as last season, although he was once torched by Rob Gronkowski for three touchdowns back in 2010. Before Gronkowski was ‘Gronk’.

What about the other rookie, Brian Allen? I mean…he is the only other cornerback, after all. The fifth-round pick has not spent a single snap on defense all season, but has worked himself into an active role on special teams.

It the Steelers are without both Haden and Sensabaugh, and left only with Sutton, would they try to make use of Allen and his size in some capacity?

Hopefully we won’t need to find the answer to this question. Hopefully Haden is a full go in practice today and has no negative consequences from the exertion and is able to play on Sunday. But if not, things could get…interesting.

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