The response has always been “next man up” in times of unavailability due to injury.
It might be adjusted to “next men up” this week.
Joe Haden (hamstring) didn’t practice today, which left a hole at left cornerback.
Second-year pro Cam Sutton had filed in for Haden during the fourth quarter and in overtime of the Steelers’ 21-21, season-opening tie in Cleveland.
But veteran Coty Sensabaugh is also an option as the Steelers prepare to host Kansas City.
“Corner, nickel, just kind of moving around a little bit,” Sutton reported regarding where he practiced this afternoon. “And obviously, the special teams, as well.
“Whatever they ask me to do I’m always open for it, I just line up. They tell me to go, I go. If not, I’m still ready to go.”
Sensabaugh, a seventh-year pro, likewise did “a little bit of everything.
“We’re just moving some bodies around,” he said. “I think we all can be ‘the guy.’ Whichever guy the coaches call on, we’ll be ready.”
Sensabaugh wasn’t active for the game in Cleveland, but he’s started 33 of 86 career games played, including four with the Steelers last season (from Nov. 16 through Dec. 10 in Haden’s spot).
Sutton didn’t make it onto the field until December last season and wound up playing in five games and starting one (Dec. 17 against New England, in place of Haden).
Confidence within the group won’t be an issue, Sutton insisted, no matter who ends up playing in the event Haden can’t against Kansas City.
“Guys have definitely stepped up when guys have gone down or had days, nicks and injuries going on,” he said. “Everyone in the room has the most confidence in everybody, that’s just how we play. That’s just how our style of play and our game is built. We come to work each and every day. We push each other each every day.
“You never know that moment. You never know that opportunity you’re going to get. You never know when a guy is going to go down. You never know any situation throughout the course of a game. Guys just always have to be locked in and ready to go at any time.”
Strong safety might also prove to be a collective effort against Kansas City, as it was at times against Cleveland.
Veteran Morgan Burnett is the starter on the depth chart, but No. 1 pick Terrell Edmunds got the start in Cleveland.
Edmunds played 74 defensive snaps (83 percent) against the Browns, while Burnett played 40 on defense (45 percent), often in a six-defensive backs sub-package.
“We’re professional,” he said. “We stay prepared. We keep each other prepared and ready, and whenever our number’s called, that’s part of our job, we have to be ready to roll.
“I’m part of a team. That’s part of being a pro, you gotta do your job. And as a pro I have to be prepared for whatever situation or whatever circumstance comes on game day.
“We have a great group, a competitive group. I feel like any guy can go in there and fill in for anyone. You gotta know going into the game you’re going to play a lot of football to help contribute to this team so you have to be prepared.”