Pittsburgh Steelers: 5 Players to Watch in Week 2

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5 Players to Watch in Week 2

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

There are times in the NFL when one week can make a major difference. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, this is 100 percent true. Going into the second week of the regular season, the Steelers will look totally different from what they looked like in Week 1 on both sides of the ball. The cause of this is because Pittsburgh was blindsided with season-ending injuries to three of their players in a highly disappointing defeat.

The offense lost center Maurkice Pouncey and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling to knee injuries, while the defense will have to cope with the absence of linebacker Larry Foote due to a torn biceps.

There are a lot of players that should get attention in this early must-win game versus the Cincinnati Bengals. David Paulson still has to compensate for the void left at tight end, and everyone will be eyeing the matchup between right tackle Marcus Gilbert and former Steelers linebacker James Harrison. Then there is the question of how cornerback Ike Taylor and the rest of Pittsburgh’s secondary is going to contain Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green.

Though the aforementioned players deserve much attention, and many more I might add, there are some players who will have a significant impact on this nationally-televised Monday night game. Their roles will not only be needed to fill voids in this contest, but they will also be looked upon as long-term solutions for the remainder of the season.

Here are the top five Steelers that everyone should have their eyes glued to this Monday night.

Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+

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5. Jarvis Jones

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Jarvis Jones has impressed Pittsburgh’s coaching staff to the point where he’s been named the co-starter at right outside linebacker. Whether if he actually is on the field for the team’s very first play of the game or not, the first-round draft pick should get more playing time than he did in Week 1, which should increase the team’s chances of generating some much-needed turnovers.

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4. Kion Wilson

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Kion Wilson, who’s a four-year undrafted linebacker, has the honor of filling in for a savvy 12-year veteran. Wilson has only nine career games under his belt, and has accumulated just seven tackles during that time. We’ll see just how much Cincinnati tries to exploit Wilson’s inexperience.

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3. Jonathan Dwyer

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

After getting a second chance with the Steelers, running back Jonathan Dwyer will definitely be playing with a gargantuan chip on his shoulder just to prove to the organization that he shouldn’t have been cut in the first place. Though it’s not saying much, Dwyer was Pittsburgh’s leading rusher last season, and is the last Steelers rusher to have back-to-back 100-yard games (with one of those games being against the Bengals).

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2. Isaac Redman

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

After carrying the ball only two times throughout the entire preseason and barely gaining nine yards on eight carries in Week 1, running back Isaac Redman will quickly have to find a way to knock off the rust that has accumulated. If not, then he could find himself losing the title of co-starter.

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1. Kelvin Beachum

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Kelvin Beachum probably has the toughest job of any Steelers players thus far. Not only does he have to fill the Pro Bowl-sized shoes of Pouncey, but he also has to do so while protecting a franchise quarterback and assisting in paving the way for a running game that managed to gain only 32 yards in the regular-season opener against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

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