LATROBE, Pa. – With the team’s second depth chart of 2017 being released, the situation at wide receiver is beginning to come into focus.
Martavis Bryant was cleared by the NFL to practice and play in preseason games on the eve of the preseason opener against the Giants on Aug. 11, and he has been installed as the starting receiver opposite Antonio Brown on this most recent depth chart. Also, Sammie Coates was activated from the physically unable to perform list today, which clears him to resume all on-field football activities with the team, and he is listed as the No. 2 receiver behind Brown.
For last week’s depth chart, Coach Mike Tomlin created the separate category of “not participating,” and injured, unsigned, and ineligible players were put there rather than in a slot on the regular depth chart. Last week, there were a dozen guys in the “not participating” category, and this week that list has been pared to eight. Coming off the “not participating” list are Bryant, Coates, running back James Conner, and center Mike Matthews, who was waived injured last week.
As for Conner, a third-round pick in the 2017 draft, he is listed as the No. 4 running back right now. He’s behind starter Fitz Toussaint, Knile Davis, and first-year player Terrell Watson. Le’Veon Bell, the presumptive starter once he signs his franchise tender, remains on the “not participating” list because he has yet to do so.
Other depth chart notes:
William Gay again is listed as the starting right outside linebacker, with rookie T.J. Watt at No. 2 behind him.
The receivers listed behind Bryant are in this order: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Justin Hunter, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Landry Jones. On the other side behind Brown, it’s Coates, Eli Rogers, and Marcus Tucker.
The top backup cornerbacks are listed in the same way on both sides. Behind starter Artie Burns on the left side, it’s Will Gay, Coty Sensabaugh, Mike Hilton, and Brian Allen. It’s the same way at right cornerback behind starter Stephon Tuitt.