PITTSBURGH — The Steelers are suddenly extremely thin at the center position. In their first official depth chart, the Steelers listed J.C. Hassenauer as the starter with Kendrick Green as the main backup. B.J. Finney was listed third. However, on Saturday, all three of those players were out, forcing the Steelers to turn to their fourth-string center.
On Saturday, Green was personally excused by Tomlin for a personal reason, and he should return tomorrow.
“Kendrick Green – I gave the day off for a personal matter, he’ll be back tomorrow,” Tomlin said.
However, with Kevin Dotson, Zach Banner, and Chuks Okorafor still ramping back up to full health slowly, the Steelers took two more blows to their depth on Saturday as both Hassenauer and Finney left practice early under their own power.
“I don’t know the nature of those injuries, don’t expect it to be significant,” Tomlin said. “B.J. Finney left under his own power and J.C. (Hassenaur) did as well. So it created some challenges for those that remained, but that’s the nature of this thing. It kind of exemplifies the battles and the challenges that the season provides us.”
While Tomlin did not divulge who that fourth-string center was, he was happy with the offensive line and did note that the Steelers always “had little projects on the side” and specifically mentioned Anthony Coyle.
“I thought the offensive line largely did a nice job of adjusting and allowing us to finish the work and just really appreciative of that.”
With Dotson, Okorafor, Banner, Hassenauer, and Finney all dinged up, the Steelers will have to work through some thin depth at offensive line for the time being before they put the pads on for the first time next week.