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2020 South Side Questions: Who Will Start At Left Guard?

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: Who will start at left guard for the Steelers?

The Steelers announced yesterday that starting left guard Matt Feiler was activated from the Reserve/Injured List in time for today’s postseason performance against the Cleveland Browns. It was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was expected to start, but one of their own later basically said to hold off on that.

Rookie Kevin Dotson had started the final two games of the season at left guard. He also started two games at right guard earlier in the year, and ultimately played a few hundred snaps for himself, despite battling injuries and even a Covid-19 infection.

It’s not clear who will start, and really, that’s for the better, because if we don’t know for sure, neither do the Browns, and that makes it just ever so slightly more difficult for them. Both players are capable performers, but many seem to favor riding with the rookie, who is likely to be the full-time starter there in 2021 if Feiler leaves in free agency.

We will of course know later tonight who is starting, because, you know…the game has to be played, so it will be pretty obvious. Personally, I don’t think that there is a wrong answer here. the bottom line is it’s a good problem to have—much better than the problem the Browns have at left guard with Joel Bitonio out and their top two backups on the Reserve/Injured List.

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