The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.
The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.
How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?
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 Diontae Johnson dress when Sean Davis returns to the lineup?
The Steelers took the unusual step on Sunday to dress all six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, and in order to do so, it took not only an injury to starting safety Sean Davis, but also the decision to dress only two tight ends, which is rare when healthy, with rookie Zach Gentry taking a seat.
Davis missed the season opener with an ankle injury, but he was able to return to the field in a limited capacity yesterday. Whether he returns this week or next week or the week after that, presumably, there will be a point in time in which the injury list no longer affects the inactive list.
Whenever that time comes (and it very well may not be this week), first of all, will it be the wide receiver position that loses out on a helmet? I believe that is extremely likely. But will it be rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson who has to take a seat? Or will it be Johnny Holton, who is a special teams contributor and a potential deep threat?
Darrius Heyward-Bey consistently dressed during his tenure in Pittsburgh thanks to his special teams contributions even when they had six wide receivers on the roster, and Holton figures to come from a similar mold.
In the past, it has been guys like Eli Rogers or particularly Justin Hunter who had to sit at Heyward-Bey’s expense. This year, it would figure to be Johnson, most likely. I suppose you can’t entirely rule out James Washington, either, but that would be a surprise.
Include your “Donte Moncrief should be the one sitting” comments below the line: