The Pittsburgh Steelers had one very notable change on their defensive line in Week 12, as defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs was made inactive for the contest. That decision resulted in fellow defensive tackle Cameron Heyward playing some nose tackle in the base defense. The decision to not dress Buggs and play Heyward some at nose tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals didn’t produce any desired outcomes, however, as the defensive unit allowed the opposing offense to run all over them for most of the contest.
On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that some defensive changes for Week 13 are possible. Even so, he also added that whatever changes are made might not be viewed being drastic in nature. So, will any of these changes include the Steelers using either Carlos Davis or newcomer Montravius Adams as part of the defensive line rotation on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens? Tomlin addressed that very question during his Tuesday press conference.
“Both guys are capable,” Tomlin said on Tuesday of Davis and Adams. “Adams has a few more hurdles to clear because learning what to do is a component of it. Carlos has been practicing and so we’ll continue to monitor his progress and the quality of that work and let that be our guide in terms of his potential inclusion.”
That’s not much of an answer from Tomlin overall, so it’s hard to say if indeed we’ll see Davis or Adams play on Sunday. Davis is still on the team’s Reserve/Injured list after resuming practice on November 18. He would need to be activated to the 53-man roster on Saturday in order to be eligible to play. As for Adams, who was officially signed off the Saints’ practice squad on Tuesday, he’s obviously yet to practice with Steelers. His first practice won’t happen until Wednesday.
With Buggs inactive on Sunday against the Bengals, the Steelers effectively chose to dress defensive lineman Daniel Archibong in his place after elevating him from the practice squad on Saturday. Archibong, however, only played a total of five defensive snaps against the Bengals.
We’ll now wait and see if Buggs is given a helmet on Sunday against the Ravens. His two best games of his career have come against the Ravens, so that’s worth noting. Tomlin effectively did note that during his Tuesday press conference.
The Steelers usually dress just five defensive linemen for games, so it will certainly be interesting to see who gets the helmets on Sunday. Heyward obviously will, as will Chris Wormley. As for the other three defensive linemen who will get helmets against the Ravens, stay tuned.