Now that the regular season has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future. A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasoning. In some cases, it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances, it will be a direct response to something that just happened. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: DL Henry Mondeaux
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: With the news of defensive lineman Carlos Davis being moved to the Reserve/Injured List, that guarantees Henry Mondeaux a continued roster spot for at least another three weeks, and likely longer.
Of the seven defensive linemen who made the initial 53-man roster this season without quickly being moved to the practice squad, only four of them are currently healthy and practicing—those are Cameron Heyward, Chris Wormley, Isaiah Buggs, and Isaiahh Loudermilk.
Tyson Alualu suffered a fractured foot and is done for the year. Stephon Tuitt has been on the Reserve/Injured List all season and has still not yet begun practicing, and Carlos Davis was just moved to the Reserve/Injured List himself, having already missed the past six weeks.
The long and short of this? You’re going to keep seeing Loudermilk and Henry Mondeaux playing important snaps. Loudermilk’s job was never in jeopardy, but Mondeaux’s spot on the 53-man roster is entirely dependent upon the injury status of the other linemen.
It’s important to note regarding him this year that the Steelers are not asking him to run down kicks and punts this year. In other words, he’s not ‘earning’ a roster spot through his work on special teams. Presumably, whenever Davis and Tuitt are back healthy, Mondeaux will be waived and moved back to the practice squad.
But we know that they is still at least three weeks away at this point, since Davis must be on the Reserve/Injured List for at least that long. The Steelers only even have five defensive linemen on the roster right now, though that’s not a crucial change, since Davis has been taking up a spot without contributing for the past five games. They’ve only had five healthy bodies for most of the year.
Mondeaux’s just so happens to be one of them. The Steelers have a few linemen on the practice squad—namely Daniel Archibong, Isaiah Mack, and most recently Chris Slayton, but it doesn’t appear imminent that any would be called up.