ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Steelers inside linebacker Robert Spillane suffered a shin injury in warmups before the team’s 2021 season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, a team spokesperson announced.
Spillane was then scratched from the game after initially being listed as active. Rookie Buddy Johnson, who was first inactive, will dress instead.
Spillane had been expected to be the No. 3 inside linebacker for the Steelers behind starters Devin Bush Jr. and Joe Schobert. Instead, veterans Marcus Allen and Ulysses Gilbert III will serve as the primary backups, while Johnson provides added depth.
The Steelers also usually use Spillane as a multi-phase contributor on special teams. It’s unclear who will assume his coverage and blocking roles in those areas.
Spillane is the only Steelers player that will miss the game with injury.