The Steelers will have a different look on their offensive line today against the Denver Broncos with David DeCastro inactive after he was ruled out of the game on Friday with a knee injury that has hampered him all through training camp, and Zach Banner and Stefen Wisniewski were both placed on the reserve/injured list during the past week.
With DeCastro out, and Wisniewski on injured reserve, it will be rookie Kevin Dotson who is going to have to step up at right guard.
"There's always going to be a little angst there, but again, this is professional football. These guys are professional about their work," said offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. "I may have a little more gray hair thinking about it, but in no way that we put anybody that's a part of our roster that I won't get a good night sleep because I trust them.
"He's naturally really strong. I don't know how better to say it. He is just a naturally strong, tough-minded guy. The natural thing for him to do is get physical with somebody. Now, match the technique and fundamentals of a young player that makes his job so important and allows you to really achieve better and great successes at your position. Those are going to have to come with time. He is working hard, and he has been available. I'm excited for him to get his opportunity."
Running back James Conner, who battled an ankle injury this week that forced him to miss practice on Wednesday, is active for the game and said he feels good about Dotson and whoever he is running behind.
"He has been eager to learn," said Conner. "He has been showing good stuff ever since training camp. Running back is all about reaction anyway, so I trust that those guys are going to do their job. It's up to me to make the right reads."
The Steelers did add depth on the line this week, signing both Jerald Hawkins, who was last on the Houston Texans practice squad, and activating Derwin Gray from the practice squad.
In addition to DeCastro, also inactive today are quarterback Joshua Dobbs, linebacker Ulysees Gilbert, defensive tackle Carlos Davis and tight end Zach Gentry.
Running back Anthony McFarland, who was inactive last week, is active today.
No. 5 QB Josh Dobbs
No. 54 LB Ulysees Gilbert III
No. 66 G David DeCastro
No. 73 DT Carlos Davis
No. 81 TE Zach Gentry
No. 16 WR Tyrie Cleveland
No. 30 RB Phillip Lindsay
No. 42 ILB Mark Barron
No. 52 OG Netane Muti
No. 85 TE Albert Okwuegbunam
No. 91 OLB Anthony Chickillo
No. 95 DT McTelvin Agim