By itself, had the Steelers only lost their regular season opener against the Tennessee Titans, it would have been something that the organization could have recovered from. However, they lost more than just the game. Starting Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey suffered an ACL injury when guard David DeCastro missed a cut block and dove into Pouncey's lower legs. Kelvin Beachum is scheduled to replace Pouncey as the starting center against the Bengals and our buddy Neal Coolong at Behind the Steel Curtain believes that's a mistake.
Call it a smokescreen. Maybe an insurance policy. Or perhaps it's just a snapshot statement in time. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin can't be serious about starting Kelvin Beachum at center Monday when the Steelers take on the Cincinnati Bengals' Anti-Heaven Front Seven. Jurell Casey gave him the beating of his pro career in Week 1. Casey is an amateur in comparison to All Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Pittsburgh's defensive signal-caller Larry Foote suffered a ruptured biceps; backup Kion Wilson replaced him last week against the Titans.
"Losing [Foote] is going to be big just because, who's behind him?" safety Ryan Clark via Post-Gazette. "I just learned the names, like, this week."
The Steelers running back position is cloudy, at best.
Pittsburgh was forced to re-sign Jonathan Dwyer earlier this week to replace LaRod Stephens-Howling, who will miss the season with a torn ACL. Pittsburgh released Dwyer during final cuts, despite leading the team in rushing. And now, according to the Pittsburgh Tribute-Review, rookie running back Le'Veon Bell could be out for a month with a mid-foot sprain. Along with starting running back Isaac Redman, the Steelers have Felix Jones and Dwyer as the team's current backups, along with fullbacks Will Johnson and Davis Johnson.
Place kicker Shaun Suisham is dealing with a hamstring injury that he suffered against the Titans, forcing the team to sign Shayne Graham. Not only is Graham joining his 14th team in the NFL, he's completed the AFC North cycle with previous tenures in Baltimore and Cleveland.
It's also unknown if cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle injury against the Titans) and tight end Heath Miller will be available, but they're far closer to the "maybe" spectrum than anyone else. Allen could return to practice this week, benefiting from the extra day before Monday Night Football. Miller hasn't played since suffered an ACL against the Bengals in week 16 last year. Jason La Canfora, NFL Insider for CBSSports.com believes that "a return for week two is likely in his case."