UNITY TWP., Pa — Kendrick Green will start on Saturday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Thursday. He started the Steelers’ first preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks after Kevin Dotson suffered an ankle injury the Monday prior to the game.
Dotson’s ankle injury has held him back. While in training camp both players have shifted back and forth between the starting role, it was Green who got the starting nod both times. Dotson suffered a reaggravation of his ankle injury on Tuesday but is still gutting it out in practice either way. Still, that is the precise reason why Green is getting the start. Dotson’s lack of availability has hurt him.
“It has impacted it,” Tomlin said. “Both guys are performing well but KG has had more exposure and work. So, it has been a factor. Availability is a big component of sorting out some of these battles, and that’s just the reality of it in this game.”
Kendrick Green will have another opportunity versus first-stringers to showcase what he can do. As for Dotson, his highs training camp has been starter-level worthy. However, as Tomlin noted, it is tough for anything substantial to happen until Dotson is on the field for an extended period of time. His issue since joining Pittsburgh has been injuries, and that has been his Achilles heel. Dotson simply needs to be available.
If Dotson wants to win the battle, he will need to stay healthy throughout the rest of the preseason. If he can, it likely sets Dotson up to be the starter against the Detroit Lions. As for who will take the field as the starter against the Bengals in Week 1, that is about as up in the air as it could be less than a month out from the season opener.