The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the regular season, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp looked much different from the norm, and a big part of that was the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. Their first football game of the year was to be the opener against the New York Giants.
As the season progresses, however, there will be a number of questions that arise on a daily basis, and we will do our best to try to raise attention to them as they come along, in an effort to both point them out and to create discussion
Questions like, how will the players who are in new positions this year going to perform? Will the rookies be able to contribute significantly? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
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 the Steelers actually deploy Anthony McFarland against the Texans, either on offense or on special teams?
Although evidence suggests that it was a clerical error, Anthony McFarland was a healthy scratch during the season opener. Once Mike Tomlin worked out that he could indeed dress 48 players, McFarland did get a helmet on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, but he did not get on the field.
This was in spite of the fact that James Conner was coming into the game coming off of an ankle injury, so even without 100 percent health at the running back position, the rookie was still the odd man out, despite the fact that he is the one with a unique attribute at the position.
The Steelers still managed to post 100-yard runners in each of the first two games of the season, but many fans are excited about what McFarland can possibly bring to the table because of his speed. Pittsburgh has managed to get rookies out on the field through the first two weeks, and running back is normally a position that can play pretty quickly.
Pittsburgh has three running backs ahead of him in Conner, Benny Snell, and Jaylen Samuels, but since he is dressing, there is no reason that he can’t get on the field for a few snaps per game, just to get him worked into the fold. The offense is still figuring out how to get everyone involved, so these things might take some time to develop.