The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will Cameron Sutton make yet another start against the New England Patriots?
After missing the majority of his rookie season due to a hamstring injury that landed him on the injured reserve list, Cameron Sutton was designated for return late in the season after Joe Haden suffered a leg injury that kept him out for over a month.
Coty Sensabaugh, a veteran, was the first asked to replace Haden, but was eventually benched in favor of Sutton, who started for the Steelers at outside cornerback in their game against the Patriots last season, the game before Haden would return. While he did give up a touchdown on a contested catch, impressions about his performance were generally positive.
Sutton’s snap count has varied pretty wildly over the course of the year and obviously has spiked when there have been injuries. He started for Haden in Week Two when he missed that game, though he struggled then and had Sensabaugh rotate in.
When Morgan Burnett missed an extended period of time, he worked as the team’s dimeback. He even played at nickel when Mike Hilton missed one game. He has played everywhere in the secondary this year aside from safety…so far.
But yesterday he told reporters that he worked at nickel while Hilton was working on the scout team. He wasn’t clear about just what they would mean for the remainder of the week, let alone for Sunday, but he said that he is prepared. “If it does happen, then I’ll be ready to play”.
Hilton has generally been the Steelers’ most consistent defensive back over the past two years, but he has had his struggles this year, and particularly in recent games. Are the Steelers considering Sutton to take over in the slot, at least temporarily?