The injuries are piling up in the secondary for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and so too are some overall struggles with that position group, especially coming out of Sunday’s Week 4 loss at home at Acrisure Stadium against the New York Jets, as the black and gold blew a 10-point lead while getting carved up by second-year quarterback Zach Wilson in the fourth quarter.
It doesn’t get any easier for the Steelers as the Super Bowl favorite Buffalo Bills, led by MVP candidate Josh Allen and star receiver Stefon Diggs are on deck. It doesn’t help that cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon is going to miss his second straight game with a hamstring injury, while guys like Cameron Sutton (hamstring), Minkah Fitzpatrick (knee) and Terrell Edmunds (concussion protocol) are banged up.
That’s forced names like Arthur Maulet and Tre Norwood into larger roles, which led to some struggles down the stretch.
Still, despite the injuries, the inability to get stops in recent weeks, and the difficult schedule ahead in the next month, the confidence level is still there, according to Norwood, who spoke to reporters Thursday ahead of the Week 5 matchup with the Bills on the road.
“We’re such a group that works well together, dating back to OTAs, that kind of has that versatility,” Norwood said to reporters Thursday, according to video via Steelers Live on Twitter. “So, the confidence level is still there. We have guys that play multiple positions, which helps out in times like this. So we just have to make sure we’re rallying together, make sure we’re all on the same page whenever we’re out there on the field.”
As the injuries pile up, communication is going to play a major role in the game on Sunday for the Steelers’ secondary, depending on who is or isn’t able to go against the Bills. As Norwood stated, the secondary is filled with guys that can play multiple positions, including himself, so that versatility and ability to move around and hold down multiple roles will help the Steelers moving forward while dealing with injuries.
That confidence level has to translate to production onto the field though. Wilson and the Jets had far too easy of a time in the fourth quarter on Sunday at Acrisure Stadium as he completed 10-of-12 passes, leading the Jets on two scoring drives to knock off the Steelers and erase a 10-point deficit. He did most of his damage over the middle of the field, which can’t happen again on Sunday.
Confidence is a good thing to have, especially when talking publicly, but it will be greatly tested on Sunday against the high-flying Bills.