Some housekeeping about what’s going on the practice field at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. At the end of the PPG Brian Batko’s practice report, he noted left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor hasn’t been part of team drills for the first two days of camp.
Here’s what Batko wrote, tucked away in the last two paragraphs of his daily camp update.
“Presumptive left tackle Chukwuma Okorafor also continued to be held out of full participation, Tomlin confirmed, but it doesn’t seem to be anything worrisome.”
It’s unclear what level of participation Okorafor is involved in right now though it seems certain he hasn’t participated in team drills. At best, he’s been held to working out in just individual and 1v1 sessions. The reason for Okorafor’s limitation is unclear though as Batko notes, Tomlin said the focus has been on getting new faces ready to play in the Hall of Fame game in early August.
While it’s not certain who is replacing Okorafor at left tackle, it appears to be fourth-round rookie Dan Moore Jr. A Thursday tweet from Chris Adamski seemed to indicate Moore was one of those new faces getting valuable reps before his first NFL game.
Judging by Mike Tomlin's words today, expect rookies Dan Moore (LT) and Kendrick Green (C) to get 1st-team reps this week and start in the HOF Game.
Wild, but Najee Harris — despite being a rookie — I wouldn't be shocked if he did not even play in it.
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) July 22, 2021
Based off photos issues by the team, Joe Haeg has taken some if not all the snaps at right tackle over the first two days. Zach Banner is recovering from a torn ACL and the team could be easing his way into team drills.
Left guard Kevin Dotson has missed the first two days of practice due to a minor “tweak” as Mike Tomlin called it yesterday. Although we won’t be at practice until next week, it appears the Steelers’ starting five has looked like this for the first two days of camp.
LT: Dan Moore Jr.
LG: Rashaad Coward
C: Kendrick Green
RG: Trai Turner
RT: Joe Haeg
By the time the Steelers take on the Bills, Okorafor, Dotson, and Banner should be back in the lineup. The Steelers’ offensive line is arguably the team’s biggest mark and must come together and play well in 2021. That’ll protect a 39-year old Ben Roethlisberger and make life easier on first-round running back Najee Harris.