From reporting eligible to reporting for right tackle duty, one report says Zach Banner has been named the Steelers’ starter on the right side. ESPN’s Adam Crowley tweeted Tuesday morning that Banner has beaten out Chukwuma Okorafor for the job.
SOURCES: Zach Banner has been named the #Steelers starting RT.
— Adam Crowley (@_adamcrowley) September 8, 2020
The Steelers have played things close to the vest throughout training camp, splitting reps between Banner and Okorafor and yesterday, listing “Or” between both guys on their first official depth chart. Now, it seems like Banner has edged Okorafor out.
It completes the comeback story for Banner. A 4th round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2017, weight issues got him cut in Indy and caused him to nearly fall out of the league. But Pittsburgh signed him mid-way through the 2018 training camp. He made the team, spending the year as an inactive, before moving into a tackle-eligible role last season, much to the crowd’s delight.
Banner has become a fan favorite for his big personality and willingness to engage on Twitter. But he’s made strides as a football player, dropped even more weight, and seems poised to be out there as the starter Week 1 against the New York Giants. It will make his first career start at RT.
Okorafor will become the backup swing tackle, capable of playing either spot. This was a critical third year for him and though the battle appeared to be close, losing out on the starting job doesn’t bode well for his future in Pittsburgh.