PITTSBURGH — The Steelers anticipated the return of Zach Banner as he began to fully recover from his Torn ACL. After he was activated from injured reserve, however, Banner has failed to play or even be dressed in both games. It has been Joe Haeg as the swing tackle and Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle with Chuks Okorafor manning right tackle.
With Banner’s non-insertion into the lineup, it has reasonably raised questions, as he was signed to a two-year contract this year. Not only that, but he was the presumed starter at right tackle in training camp and heading further into the season, having beaten out Okorafor for a role in consecutive seasons. Still, for Tomlin, it seems Banner just has to keep working and things may come his way eventually.
“He needs to keep doing what he’s doing,” Tomlin said. “He’s healthy. He’s been given clearance from a health standpoint. He needs to knock the dust or the rust off and prove that he’s a viable guy that can help us win a game, and that’s done with repetitions in practice and in competitive circumstances. We’ll keep doing that and we’ll see where the roads lead us this week.”
Tomlin went on to note that his decisions are not affected at all by offensive line chemistry. He wants to put the best five offensive lineman out there, and it appears that at this point, the Steelers believe that their five best are the ones they have on the field. Banner is not playing as well because he can only play right tackle. Meanwhile, Haeg has experience at all five spots along the offensive line, and appears to be the swing tackle moving forward.