While the Steelers wrapped up the preseason 3-1 after Thursday’s 33-17 win over the Panthers in Charlotte on Thursday, all focus now turns to getting the roster ready for the Baltimore Ravens and opening day.
Starting cornerback Bryant McFadden has yet to play in 2011 due to what coach Mike Tomlin said is a hamstring/groin injury. That has raised concerns about how healthy McFadden will be for the start of the regular season.
Tomlin said he has been cautious about playing McFadden because he “wants to get him right,” but McFadden’s lack of playing time could make him an even bigger liability in coverage.
The team should get back starting corner Ike Taylor after he had surgery to repair a broken thumb. But if McFadden doesn’t play, he will be replaced by nickel back William Gay. When the team uses five defensive backs, Gay will move to the slot and Keenan Lewis will line up on an outside receiver.
One has to wonder if McFadden indeed can’t go, if the team is going to take a hard look at players released over the next 48 hours to bring in someone for depth or even to play in the secondary.