The Pittsburgh Steelers were working on evidently their fourth-string center on the third day of camp during Saturday’s practice. According to Mike Tomlin’s injury report, rookie Kendrick Green was excused from practice due to a “personal matter.” B.J. Finney and J.C. Hassenauer left practice early.
That information comes courtesy of Steelers.com reporter Missi Matthews, who tweeted out the news a short time ago.
Coach Tomlin said they were thin at OL today because Kendrick Green had the day off for a personal matter (back tomorrow) and BJ Finney and JC Hassenauer left under their own power.
— Missi Matthews (@missi_matthews) July 24, 2021
“It created some challenges for those who remained,” Tomlin said via 93.7 The Fan after today’s session “That’s the nature of this thing, it exemplifies the battles and the challenges that the season provides us. I thought the offensive line largely did a nice job of adjusting and allowing us to finish the work.”
It’s unclear the exact reason why Green was excused, but the good news is he’s expected to return tomorrow. Green has been thrown into the fire, working with the starters since practice began on Thursday. He is slated to start the Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys early next month. Tomlin said the focus is on getting guys like Green and other new/young faces plenty of reps before they step inside a stadium.
Pittsburgh has shuffled its offensive line quite a bit over the first three days. Kevin Dotson hasn’t practiced the first two days after suffering a minor injury. And Chukwuma Okorafor has reportedly been held out of team sessions. That’s led rookie left tackle Dan Moore Jr. to run with the first team. It’s unclear if Finney and/or Hassenauer will be back for tomorrow’s practice (assuming there is one, the non-padded schedule has not been publicly released).
It’s also not clear who finished today’s practice as the team’s center. Dotson has logged emergency practice reps there last season but he may not have practiced today either. It’s possible someone like Anthony Coyle or Aviante Collins could get some emergency work there, but hopefully it won’t be an issue by the team’s next practice and especially not by the preseason opener.
Update (4:30 PM): According to 93.7 The Fan, Coyle and OT John Leglue saw time at center to finish out practice.
“We always have little projects going on the side,” Tomlin said per The Fan. “We got guys prepared to play. If you are not working four, five snappers, you are less than professional.”