PITTSBURGH — Steelers linebacker Elandon Roberts is dealing with a knee injury following the team’s win over the Tennessee Titans. The other starting linebacker across from Kwon Alexander, Roberts was limited on Wednesday in practice with the ailment. During the team’s Tuesday press conference, Mike Tomlin did not mention him as an injury to watch.
On Tuesday, Tomlin confirmed that inside linebacker Cole Holcomb will be out for the rest of the 2023 season, but declined to mention his specific injury and whether or not he will have surgery. Holcomb was placed on the injured reserve list on Monday.
With Holcomb out, the health of the rest of the room is paramount. Alexander is expected to wear the green dot, but Roberts should see a steep increase in his snap count. He does not believe much changes outside of the fact that he and Alexander must play more.
“Right side, left side, none of that really changes,” Roberts said. “We have to go out there and play ball. I don’t think about the changes too much.”
Mark Robinson and Keanu Neal could help fill the void of Holcomb with Roberts banned. The roles that Roberts and Alexander play do not change drastically aside from the fact that Alexander now wears that dot. But it’s nothing new for Alexander, as the Steelers inside linebacker has worn it elsewhere in his career.
“It’s been smooth,” Alexander said. “I’ve had the dot before. I played Mike linebacker my first four years. … It ain’t nothing different. I just get the call and then go out there and do the work.”
Pittsburgh must ensure their linebackers don’t become overexposed with their skillsets. They have played well but have worked off each other’s skills to land into the mode they are right now. Of course, Alexander and Roberts have a hill to climb.