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: K Chris Boswell
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: After taking a hit attempting a pass on a fake field goal attempt last Sunday, kicker Chris Boswell is set to return, clearing concussion protocols during the week, without missing a game.
You saw how well it worked out not having a kicker last week in the second half, so it’s nice to know that the Steelers will have Chris Boswell back out there tomorrow. Of course, even if he couldn’t play, they did sign Josh Lambo to the practice squad. Boswell actually missed three games last year, and Matthew Wright made all of his kicks—but unfortunately he’s played well enough since to earn a starting job.
Head coach Mike Tomlin decided to run a fake field goal play in a 3-3 game late in the first half that included motioning the left end to the right side. The Browns picked it up quickly and covered the eligibles, leaving Boswell rolling to the sideline.
Ultimately, he took a hit, and ended up concussed. At this point it doesn’t matter whether or not it was flagged or fined (for the record, neither occurred), the bottom line is he missed the rest of the game. But he appeared to be able to quickly work his way through the protocols this week, and did not even receive an injury designation for the game, meaning that there is no question at all of his playing status.
Boswell is 12-of-13 on the season, working with not just a new holder in rookie punter Pressley Harvin III, but also a new long snapper, as first-year Christian Kuntz unseated Kameron Canaday for the position. Boswell spent almost his entire career working with Canaday and former punter Jordan Berry as his specialist partners.
Since the 2019 season, after his bout with the yips, the Steelers kicker is 60-for-64 in his field goal attempts for a make percentage of 93.8, and that includes going 5-for-6 from 50-plus yards. He already has a 56-yard field goal this year, the longest in Heinz Field history, and had a 59-yarder last year, the longest field goal ever made by a Steeler.