Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Isaiah Buggs has been downgraded from questionable to out and will not play in Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans, according to this tweet from team spokesman Burt Lauten.
Buggs has been hampered by an ankle injury that will have caused him to miss three games. He took over as the team’s starting nose tackle following Tyson Alualu’s season-ending ankle fracture in Week 2. Buggs has struggled in his role as the Steelers’ run defense is on a historically bad pace, allowing a franchise-worst 4.97 yards per carry this season.
According to our charting, when Buggs is on the field, teams are averaging 5.6 yards per carry. He’s also struggled with assignment and alignment and even things as basic as getting into his stance.
The Steelers’ defensive line is once again thin. Montravius Adams was placed on the Reserve/COVID list earlier in the week. We’ll find out by this afternoon if he’ll be activated for tomorrow’s game. If not, then it’s likely Carlos Davis will get a hat and start in the middle. Davis hasn’t played since Week 1 due to a knee injury. Henry Mondeaux and Cam Heyward have also played nose tackle this season, though the results have been poor.
Buggs is the second Steeler to be ruled out this week, joining rookie LB Buddy Johnson (foot). CB Joe Haden (foot) and TE Kevin Rader (hip) are listed as questionable. Haden, however, is expected to play after practicing in full Friday.