Due to fractured hand that he suffered during the Pittsburgh Steelers season opener against the Cleveland Browns, starting right guard David DeCastro might not be able to play in the team’s Sunday home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Should that wind up being the case, reserve interior offensive lineman B.J. Finney would likely start in DeCastro’s place. While many might view Finney possibly having to start in place of DeCastro against Kansas City as a potential chief concern for the Steelers, perhaps it’s the Chiefs that should be the more concerned of the two teams.
Finney, a former undrafted free agent who is now in his fourth NFL season, is no stranger to starting at guard for the Steelers and especially not against the Chiefs. In fact, of the four games that Finney has already started at guard for the Steelers during his career, two have been against the Chiefs and he played well in both of those contests.
Finney’s first career start came in a 2016 Week 4 Sunday night game against the Chiefs and the Steelers offense registered 149 yards rushing in that 43-14 home win. He started at left guard in that game in place of injured starter Ramon Foster and was arguably the Steelers best performing offensive lineman that evening. Later in that 2016 regular season, Finney again started in place of Foster at left guard only this time it was against the Buffalo Bills in Week 14 and once again the Kansas State product didn’t disappoint in that 27-20 Steelers road win.
While Finney did close out the 2016 regular season with a Week 17 start at center against the Browns in place of resting starter Maurkice Pouncey, he went on to start once again at left guard in place of an injured Foster in last season’s Week 6 road game against the Chiefs. Once again Finney represented himself well in that contest that the Steelers won 19-13 that included the Pittsburgh offense rushing for 194 yards in total.
As just mentioned, those previous starts that Finney has made at guard for the Steelers were all on the left side of the offensive line so should he indeed have to start on the right side Sunday against the Chiefs in place of an injured DeCastro, it will mark his first official NFL start at that position. Even so, he’s already logged a fair amount of snaps at the right guard spot in past preseason and regular season games and has looked fine doing so.
After the 2018 season is over, Finney will be scheduled to become a restricted free agent and the Steelers might decide to give him a second-round tender to retain his services. Such a tender could eventually result in him signing a long-term extension a little less than a year from now and especially if Foster, who’s current contract is scheduled to expire at the end of this season, isn’t re-signed during the offseason.