Sometimes it pays to wait before preparing to grab the pitchforks and storm the barricades. Such is the case with the lead up to the Steelers showdown vs. the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Going into the game the key personnel questions for the Steelers, aside from whether Ben Roethlisberger or Landry Jones would start, was whether the Steelers would activate Ladarius Green.
We'll see. This would make zero sense if it happens. Burns has been worse the more he's played. https://t.co/euKPGKdX9z
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) November 3, 2016
Artie Burns might blossom into a competitive NFL cornerback. However, his play thus far calls to mind Ike Taylor‘s rookie season far more than it does Rod Woodson’s (Taylor only played special teams as a rookie, Woodson held out 1/2 a season but looked like a stud from the get-go.)
Jim Wexell speculated that this move merely signaled the Steelers desire to match Burns against speedy Mike Wallace. (Wexell also pointed out that in practice, Artie Burns has been a veritable ball hawk.)
And that indeed might be part of Keith Butler and Carnell Lake’s plan is. But the Steelers made another roster move made the news about Artie Burns first start a little easier to understand as they put reserve guard/center Cody Wallace on injured reserve, and activated practice squad defensive back Al-Hajj Shabazz.
As Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review explained when announcing the move, the Steelers decision to activate Al-Hajj Shabazz quite possibly indicates that William Gay will be unavailable for the Ravens game, given that Gay missed practice on Friday after participating during the entire week.
Mark Kaboly’s of DK on Pittsburgh Sports tweet seemed to advance the story in that direction:
When asked if he is going to play, William Gay said, well, he didn't say anything other than an audible scoff.Check out more on @DKPghSports
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) November 4, 2016
If the story does turn out to be true, and William Gay misses the game against the Ravens, Joe Flacco will get the chance to revive the Raven’s fortunes against a secondary that has struggled mightily even with its most experienced player in the lineup.
Cody Wallace Season Ends Before It Starts
The franchise that started only one more center (Ray Mansfield, Mike Webster, Dermontti Dawson, and Jeff Hartings) than it had head coaches (Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin) during a 38 year period from 1968 to 2006, the Steelers have not had good luck keeping centers healthy of late.
- If Maurkice Pouncey’s reputation for being “injury prone” is unwarranted, the man has not had good luck.
His replacement, Fernando Velasco, lasted 11 games before falling injured, only to be replaced by Cody Wallace. Now Cody Wallace’s 2016 has ended because of an injury he suffered during training camp. is in the final year of the contract he signed with the Steelers in 2014. One has to wonder this injury might end his time in Pittsburgh.