Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: OL Kevin Dotson
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: The Steelers’ rookie fourth-round offensive lineman suffered a knee injury in practice on Tuesday in what has so far been the most significant on the injury front for the team so far this offseason.
The NFL saw a rash of significant injuries around the league once the pads started to come on this week, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before the Steelers would also be significantly affected by the injury bug.
Its first victim in Pittsburgh was Kevin Dotson, who suffered an injury during Tuesday’s practice, the second in pads since training camp opened. The team had a few other plays sidelined here and there with minor ailments, but Dotson’s knee injury clearly appears to be something at least slightly more serious.
Taken in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft after the Steelers lost Ramon Foster to retirement and B.J. Finney in free agency, Dotson has already been penciled in as the team’s eighth and potentially final offensive lineman on the 53-man roster this year.
Without the benefit of a full traditional offseason, including an absence of preseason games, it was always in question whether or not he would be able to be much of a meaningful contributor or if this would go down as a redshirt year.
Now dealing with a knee injury of a currently undetermined severity, it’s hard to say what the immediate future holds for him, but clearly this is a roadblock for him. He will miss at least a decent portion of training camp, and depending upon the nature of the injury, he may miss the entire season.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger helped the rookie off the field after he suffered the injury in practice and refused a cart. That shows the type of respect that the veterans already have for the young man out of Louisiana-Lafayette, who was a Steelers fan long before he was drafted by them.