Now that the 2020 regular season 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 are seeing over the course of the season as it plays out. Who is making plays? Who is missing them? Who is losing snaps? Who is struggling to stay on the field?
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: DL Henry Mondeaux
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Promoted from the practice squad last week after being a protected player all season, Mondeaux made his NFL debut, and played on offense, defense, and special teams—with possible indications that he will be dressing throughout the season.
It was arguably a surprise when Isaiah Buggs was listed as an inactive for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, after having dressed for the first five games of the season. It seemed as though he had established himself as the number five defensive lineman, but now Mondeaux has a chance to take that on.
And he may get an extended opportunity as well, because the number four lineman, Chris Wormley, is currently dealing with a knee injury, and at least as of this writing (which for the record is Wednesday evening), it’s not clear how severe that injury is and how much time he might miss.
Assuming that Wormley misses time, it almost assuredly means that both Buggs and Mondeaux will be dressing, but Mondeaux was promoted before Wormley was hurt, obviously. And the fact that he logged 17 snaps on special teams, including on kick coverage, is a big signal.
The thing is, if he was only activated to fill in for Derek Watt due to special teams, the Steelers probably would have simply elevated Mondeaux from the practice squad instead of signing him to a contract to the 53-man roster. With Robert Spillane now in the starting lineup, his special teams work has been permanently reduced as well.
Whether and to what degree the Oregon product’s newfound promotion comes at the expense of Buggs remains to be seen, but either way, it’s an obvious upgrade for Mondeaux, who is now earning weekly paychecks significantly greater than the ones he was getting through the first six weeks as a member of the practice squad, of which he was a member all of last season as well.