2020 South Side Questions: When Will Kevin Dotson Be Available?

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 Kevin Dotson be available by the end of the regular season?

The Steelers saw two offensive linemen go down during Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills, with first starting left guard Matt Feiler succumbing to a pectoral injury and then his replacement, rookie fourth-round pick Kevin Dotson, doing to same.

The Steelers announced yesterday that Feiler was being placed on the Reserve/Injured List, which means that he will miss at least the final three games of the regular season. They did not, however, put Dotson on the list as well.

That would seem to indicate that they believe his injury is of a more short-term nature and that he could be available within the next three weeks. We will hear from head coach Mike Tomlin later today, and hopefully he will have good news on that front.

While he did not finish the game, we never got an update on the nature of Dotson’s pectoral injury, so it is certainly possible that it was a very minor strain of some kind, and even that he could be available for the team’s next game.

Needless to say, the Steelers can use all the help they can get, as if Dotson can’t go, that likely means J.C. Hassenauer will start, and he is better suited to playing center rather than guard. Derwin Gray would be the other option, but he hasn’t played any meaningful snaps yet in his career, outside of some reps at the end of a blowout.

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