PITTSBURGH — Missing two and half weeks, including the first preseason game is never easy for a second-year guy trying to prove himself. While Kevin Dotson is likely the Steelers starting left guard for Week One, he’s missed nearly all of training camp to this point with an injury and has been working with the second team since his return, sparking an obvious level of frustration when speaking with the media after practice on Tuesday.
Two days after Mike Tomlin said that Dotson has done nothing to earn those first-team snaps, he believes those were sentiments were blown out of proportion.
“I think it was just a statement. I have legitimately haven’t done anything,” Dotson said. “There is nothing to look at for my body of work right now. You know, I have not practiced one aside from yesterday. So I mean, he wasn’t lying. It just read differently on Twitter.”
However, just because he is now with the second team and does not perceive the team to be angry with him does not mean Dotson does not want to go out and prove something to himself. In fact, he is not shying away from proving himself yet again.
“I’m gonna have to prove myself,” Dotson said. “I’m not a number one proven guy, so I’m going to have to prove myself.”
As Dotson tries to prove himself, he is trying to claw back from an ankle injury in which he says he received two platelet-rich plasma (PRP) shots in that same ankle over the course of the two weeks he was out. Now after being back on the field, Dotson is hoping Thursday can be the start of his proving ground.
“Any game I play I’m gonna treat it like it’s my own personal Super Bowl,” Dotson said. “I want to be the reason why we do good. I want to be the reason we have all the rushing yards. I want to be the reason.”
Working back from the ankle injury, he was bummed out to not be able to prove himself even sooner than he could have.
“I got hurt the first day out, and didn’t get to prove anything,” Dotson said. “I really felt like I could show them that I’m different than I was last year, but still reliable.”
As it stands, Dotson is still first on the Steelers depth chart. Even if Rashaad Coward continues to get first-team snaps, it would be a mild upset to not see Dotson trot out with the starters against the Buffalo Bills.