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2021 South Side Questions: Will Kevin Dotson Be Back This Week?

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: Will Kevin Dotson be back this week?

If there is any one single thing that could help make the Steelers’ offense just a little bit better this season, it would be a reshuffling of the offensive line. The easiest change to make would simply be to get starting left guard Kevin Dotson back, who has missed the last several games due to an ankle injury.

J.C. Hassenauer first started in his place before getting injured, after which the same thing happened to B.J. Finney. Since then, it has been first-year John Leglue playing there, who has not done nearly as well as some seemingly want to think he has. And frankly I’m not sure why Hassenauer or Joe Haeg didn’t start over him last week.

But we know that Dotson is back practicing, and we know that it’s a possibility he will return this week. The question is simply will he or won’t he? I imagine they won’t bother activating him unless they intend to start him.

The change I would really like to see is putting in Hassenauer over center Kendrick Green, but I think we all know that’s not going to happen at this point. He just ends up on all fours far too often and is clearly the weakest link in the offensive line chain. The least they could do is improve the play around him, because the interior offensive line is the weakest area of the entire team right now, and that’s saying something.

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