It sounds like Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns isn’t guaranteed to start Monday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Burns, the Steelers former first-round draft pick out of Miami, hasn’t played great in the team’s first two games of 2018 and as a result of that he might lose his starting job as soon as Monday night in Tampa.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Burns said after Saturday’s practice that he isn’t sure if he’ll start Monday night against the Buccaneers. Additionally, fellow Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh confirmed on Saturday that he took some first-team reps during practice.
For what it’s worth, Burns dealt with a toe injury last week during practice but it didn’t prevent him from playing in the team’s Sunday home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Artie Burns said he did not know if he would start Monday night. Coty Sensabaugh confirmed he has first team reps in practice Saturday. Burns said his toe injury from last week is not an issue.
— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) September 22, 2018
Against the Chiefs, Burns was beaten a few times by Kansas City wide receiver Tyreek Hill for big gains with one of those times being a 29-yard touchdown. According to our charting from the Steelers loss to the Chiefs, Burns was targeted four times on Sunday and allowed 4 receptions for 85 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Artie Burns in coverage vs Kansas City: 4/4 85 yards, 2 TDs.
And I'm not even counting the 1st touchdown to Conley against him.
— Alex Kozora (@Alex_Kozora) September 19, 2018
— Steelers Depot (@Steelersdepot) September 21, 2018
Obviously, Burns has now been placed on notice by the Steelers coaches and even if he does start Monday night against the Buccaneers, he’ll be on a short leash and thus we could see Sensabaugh replace him during the game.
This season is a big one for Burns as the Steelers will need to decide during the offseason if they want to pick up his fifth-year option for the 2020 season. Barring some sort of great turnaround, it’s hard to imagine the Steelers going that route. With that said, however, the Steelers did somewhat surprisingly pick up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Bud Dupree this past offseason.