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: DT Carlos Davis
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: After missing weeks due to a knee injury, second-year defensive tackle Carlos Davis has finally returned to practice, working on a limited basis for the past two days, giving him a chance to possibly return to the field before the bye week.
There were high hopes for Carlos Davis entering his second season this year. They haven’t necessarily gone anywhere; the simple reality is that he hasn’t had the opportunity to do very much so far. The Nebraska product has been out since suffering a knee injury in the first game of the season, and had not even practiced until earlier this week.
Making matters worse is the fact that the Steelers lost nose tackle Tyson Alualu to a fractured ankle in week two. Early in the offseason, he was going to sign with the Jaguars as a free agent, but chose to stay instead. During that time, however, Steelers fans were getting ready for the idea of Davis taking over the starting nose role.
Since he’s been out—perhaps even if he wasn’t—it has been third-year Isaiah Buggs taking over there, but they have seriously lacked depth without him, to the point that, much to his chagrin, even Cameron Heyward has been taking some snaps in the middle when needed.
Whether he returns this week, or after the bye, Davis’ return will be a much-needed boost to a defensive line that looked a lot deeper a month and a half ago. Stephon Tuitt is obviously the big get, but the lack of the-year man has been felt as well. He might be their third-best pass rusher along the defensive line, for one thing, behind Heyward and Tuitt.
If he is able to practice in full today, then he has a chance of playing Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks, but they can get by for one more game without him. Should he sit, then he’ll have three full weeks of practice, assuming no setback, before he has to get back on the field, thanks to their upcoming bye.