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Steelers Run-Plugging NT Could Make Debut vs. Ravens



Steelers Breiden Fehoko
Steelers NT Breiden Fehoko at training camp - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — The Steelers could have a new name in their lineup at defensive tackle on Sunday against the Ravens. Veteran nose tackle Breiden Fehoko, who Pittsburgh signed this offseason, seems set to have an impact for the first time all season, with defensive coordinator Teryl Austin hinting that Fehoko could dress.

Fehoko potentially dressing comes with DeMarvin Leal dealing with a concussion, but there is the fact that they are playing a heavy gap-oriented team in the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. It, yet again, feels like one of those games where if you don’t play Fehoko, why have him on the roster? Austin agrees with that sentiment this week.

“I feel good about our guy’sup front,” Austin said. “I like our guy’s up front. They play hard. They’re big. They’re physical. This will test our depth, obviously, because we know they’re a good offensive line. They have a really good scheme. And it will test us, but I feel comfortable with our guys. Yeah, you draw up Fehoko’s for teams like this.”

Fehoko’s main attraction is his run defense; the Steelers have mainly struggled in that area. He will not give Pittsburgh the pass-rush juice that someone like Montravius Adams or Armon Watts will give, but the group needs someone up front who can make a big difference in the run game. Fehoko has proven he can do that already with the Chargers last year.

Last year, after being elevated from the Chargers practice squad, Fehoko came onto the team in Week 10 to help boost their run defense. It marked a change for the Chargers that allowed the team to considerably slow down teams they faced in the run game, even if Fehoko does not offer a ton in the pass rush part of his game. To say the least, this is overdue.

So, it seems that Fehoko will make his Steelers debut on Sunday. And if that is the case, it will be fascinating to see how the Ravens decide to attack the Steelers and if Fehoko can have a big impact on the game from that spot.