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2020 South Side Questions: Will Spillane, Feiler Resume Practice This Week?

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 either Robert Spillane or Matt Feiler return to practice this week?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a number of starters on the Reserve/Injured List. A couple of them could actually potentially return as early as this week, namely starting left guard Matt Feiler and inside linebacker Robert Spillane, who took over a starting role after Devin Bush was injured.

Feiler has been a starter for most of the past three seasons, though prior to this year, it had been at right tackle. The Steelers moved him to left guard after Ramon Foster retired because they felt it was best overall for their line.

Spillane is a second-year player who carved out a special teams niche for himself in 2019, and showed well enough for himself to earn the right to be regarded as the top backup this year. Unfortunately, the backup was required, but he filled in admirably.

Feiler suffered a pectoral injury against the Buffalo Bills and missed the final three games of the regular season, but is eligible to return this week. Spillane was injured the week before that. He was eligible to return last week,  but there was really no incentive to bring him back earlier than necessary for a game that made no difference.

We are now in the playoffs, of course, and it’s all hands on deck. Anybody who is capable of playing and merits playing time will be on the field. While their replacements have filled in serviceably, overall, it would be a boost to get the roster as healthy as possible.

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