The Pittsburgh Steelers will designate left guard Kevin Dotson to return from the injured reserve list and start his 21-day practice clock this week, head coach Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday.
Dotson has been out since suffering a high ankle sprain in the team’s tie with the Detroit Lions on Nov. 14. He was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 20 and was expected to miss about a month. Dotson is eligible to be reinstated from the injured reserve list as soon as the team feels he is ready.
The Steelers’ fourth-round pick out of Louisiana in 2020, Dotson established himself as a reliable backup as a rookie and inherited the starting job at left guard this spring when Matt Feiler departed in free agency.
He started each of the team’s first nine games this season before his injury. Without Dotson, the team turned to a number of options. Joe Haeg played there before ending up on the COVID-19 reserve list. Both J.C. Hassenauer and B.J. Finney filled in before suffering injuries of their own.
First-year former undrafted free agent John Leglue has started the last two games at left guard.
Dotson’s 64.1 overall grade by Pro Football Focus is the second-best of the Steelers’ starting linemen, behind right guard Trai Turner. Leglue’s 52.7 grade is the worst of all linemen with more than 10 snaps on the team.