Pittsburgh Steelers: Will Offensive Line Ever Come Together?
Since the opening offensive drive of Week 1 for the Pittsburgh Steelers, their offensive line has been somewhat cursed. That is when Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey went down with a season-ending knee injury. Ever since then, the Steelers’ O-line has been decimated. It seems that every week someone on the offensive front goes down, which leads to constant shuffling along the front five.
Pittsburgh now has to find a way to deal with the possibility of not having left guard Ramon Foster in the lineup this coming Sunday when the Steelers host the Detroit Lions. Foster suffered a high-ankle sprain in last week’s victory over the Buffalo Bills, and was seen walking with a protective boot on his right foot during Pittsburgh’s practice on Tuesday.
Along with Foster this season, right tackle Marcus Gilbert, right guard David DeCastro and reserve right tackle Mike Adams have all went down with ankle injuries of their own at earlier points in the year.
The Steelers have had four different starting combinations along the offensive line so far this campaign due to all of the injuries, and could have their fifth in Week 11 if Foster isn’t able to suit up. Guy Whimper will more than likely step in for the five-year veteran if need be.
Surely, Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been the weakest part of the team, and injuries have been a major reason for that. The Steelers are 29th in the NFL in rushing (127.2 yards per game), and have allowed the second-most sacks in the league (36).
Will Pittsburgh’s O-line ever get it together? Well, if linemen keep dropping like flies, they won’t have a chance. However, if they somehow find a way to stay healthy for the backend of the regular season, and give themselves time to gel as a unit, then they could possibly show some improvement going forward.
Who knows, if that happens, that might just be what the team needs to turn things completely around and make a miraculous run for the postseason.
Unfortunately, the interior of the Steelers’ offensive line will be tested this week by one of the league’s best defensive tackle duos in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairely. If the offensive front can contain those two this coming Sunday, then I must say that there is hope for Pittsburgh’s offensive line for the remainder of the season.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+.