The Steelers will likely see their former third-round draft pick, Kendrick Green, as a starter during their Week 4 clash in Houston against the Texans. After center Juice Scruggs was placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, Green will likely start left guard. Rookie Jarrett Patterson is listed as the first-team center, while Green is listed as the first-team left guard.
Green has started the last two games there and has looked solid enough. He allowed three pressures in those games and earned a 55.3 grade from Pro Football Focus over those two starts.
Scruggs, a second-round pick, had a great preseason and was potentially slated to get more playing time than initially thought in his rookie year. Despite the hamstring injury, Scruggs is eligible to play for the Texans in 2023 and can be activated any time after Week 4. His injury was part of why the Texans agreed to trade a sixth-round pick to the Steelers for center/guard Kendrick Green.
In addition, two starters, Kenyon Green and Scott Quessenberry, are out for the season, according to reports. That forced the move to precipitate quickly between Houston and Pittsburgh. Green, the team’s third-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, never panned out as a center in the way the team hoped. He was the starting center throughout his rookie season in 2021 but struggled mightily in transitioning to the NFL and from guard, which he played in college, to center. He was replaced late in the year after journeyman backup J.C. Hassenauer filled in while Green was injured.
In 2022, he lost his starting job to free agent Mason Cole and moved to guard, where he remained on the roster but was rarely active on game days and did not appear in a single regular season snap. With Hassenauer moving on in free agency this spring, the Steelers moved Green back to center to try him again there, as the Steelers had built up a massive amount of depth in front of him at guard. They also used him at fullback in training camp, to some success, but Green needed to make the roster as a backup center for that project to work, and he continued to show inconsistency with his snaps.
Currently, Nate Herbig slots in as the backup center, with Spencer Anderson helping in that area. Green moves to a zone-heavy scheme that fits his skill set, allowing him to play better.