The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
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. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: How much time will Kevin Dotson miss?
It was reported yesterday that Steelers left guard Kevin Dotson is being considered ‘week to week’ after he exited Sunday’s game with a high ankle sprain. That is more or less what we anticipated hearing after he was taken off the field, based on the replay.
We should learn today, I would expect, whether or not the Steelers intend to place him on the Reserve/Injured List, which would indicate that they expect him to take a least three weeks to come back. But if they think he can make it back in two, that’s not going to happen—and wouldn’t need to happen, since, if necessary, they could elevate a guard from the practice squad for two games.
Dotson had played nearly every snap of the season up to that point, only missing a handful of snaps against the Green Bay Packers back in Week 5, having now made 13 starts in his career (including four as a rookie last season) since coming into the league.
Fans had rather high hopes for him, though he hasn’t necessarily matured into the dominant force that many seem to have expected he would. Along with the rest of the line, however, he has grown over the course of the year.
He was replaced by J.C. Hassenauer after exiting the game, though B.J. Finney ended up not dressing—it’s not clear whether or not he was entirely a healthy scratch, though nothing has indicated otherwise. It remains to be seen who will start at left guard next week; both may have to start if Trai Turner at right guard, who also left the game with an injury, misses time as well.