Artie Burns knows the situation and what's at stake.
"It's definitely going to make or break me," he said of suddenly having to share his left cornerback position with veteran Coty Sensabaugh.
Burns, the Steelers' No. 1 pick in 2016, had started 31 consecutive games, including four playoff games, since Week Nine of his rookie campaign.
But that changed on Monday night in Tampa.
Head coach Mike Tomlin opted to start Sensabaugh, a seventh-year pro who also had stints with the Titans, Rams and Giants prior to joining the Steelers last season.
Burns was re-inserted for the Buccaneers' third offensive series and the two rotated every two series thereafter.
Tomlin said this week the Steelers will continue to look at Burns, Sensabaugh and second-year pro Cam Sutton at the position until "someone distinguishes themselves."
The Steelers are 29th in total defense and 28th in pass defense heading into Sunday night's hosting of the Ravens.
Today's practice offered little clarity as to who might start against Baltimore opposite Joe Haden.
"Same as (Tampa), rotation with Coty," Burns said. "It's life, we go through stuff all the time. It determines who you are as a person.
"I know I can make plays. That's why they brought me here, to make plays. I just gotta make them routinely. I'm just not executing on plays I know I can make and that I made before. I just have to get back to the basics."
Sensabaugh has started 34 of 88 career regular-season games, including four when Haden was injured last season.
"It's just something the coaches have us doing," he said. "We're just trying to go out there and make plays. I just try to go out there and be the best player I can be to help this team win, and I can live wit the results."
Sensabaugh played 48 defensive snaps and Burns 25 against the Buccaneers.
The Steelers allowed a season-high 411 passing yards but also intercepted three passes (one of which was returned for a 10-yard touchdown by outside linebacker Bud Dupree), recovered a fumble following a completion (Burns forced it), sacked quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick three times and won the game, 30-27.
"We came out with a win," Sensabaugh said, when asked how the rotation had worked out in the Buccaneers game. "We both had some good plays, both had some things we can do a little bit better. It's just something to work on moving forward. We're both looking forward to the opportunity this weekend.
"Honestly, every day is a new day. I don't know if there's any real concrete answer, just let the play do the talking."
Burns is trying to do the same.
"I gotta just keep my head down, stay focused, keep moving forward," he said. "It's a long season, I gotta get through it."