Connect with us

Steelers News

New Steelers Safety Could Start against Bengals



Steelers DB Eric Rowe
Steelers DB Eric Rowe at practice on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Steelers safety Eric Rowe could see playing time, and maybe even start, against the Cincinnati Bengals on Saturday. It figures that the starting lineup could be Rowe and Trenton Thompson, though Thompson is questionable heading into the week with a stinger.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is out with a knee injury, and Damontae Kazee will not play after being suspended by the NFL for his hit on Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman. The NFL levied out a season-long suspension for Kazee from this point on, and he will appeal that, but it is unlikely it will get completely reduced, meaning he will miss this week’s game at least.

Thompson replaced Kazee after his ejection on Saturday and will be expected to do so going forward, though Thompson suffered a stinger injury in the game and his participation this week is questionable. Co-starting strong safety Keanu Neal remains out with a rib injury.

That opens the door for Rowe, who has played in the NFL for nearly a decade. Not only that, he is a guy who has been around winning organizations with the Patriots, so he knows how this works. He has been in the system for a month at this point and seems to be assimilating well into the system.

Rowe, 31, has played for the Philadelphia Eagles, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins since coming into the league as a second-round pick of the Eagles out of Utah in 2015.

A 6-foot-1, 205-pound defensive back, Rowe has split his career playing time equally between outside cornerback, slot cornerback and strong safety, while also spending time at free safety and linebacker.

Last season with the Miami Dolphins, he played 248 snaps at strong safety, 188 as a slot corner, 30 as a linebacker, 57 as a free safety and 44 as an outside corner.

In his eight-year NFL career, Rowe has played in 100 games and made 56 starts. He has recorded 381 tackles, 41 passes defended, seven tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, two sacks, six forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

He won Super Bowls LI and LIII with the New England Patriots and has been a multi-year teammate of Steelers linebacker Elandon Roberts. That relationship goes back and will make Rowe comfortable in the locker room to start.