It sounds like another change is coming on the offensive line, but this time not due to injury. The change of course comes from the play the last few minutes on Sunday when left tackle Jonathan Scott missed a block to allow Mewelde Moore get tackled for a safety.
He was pulled, and in the final drive that almost allowed the Steelers to pull off the win, he was replaced by Trai Essex.
“We’re still in the process of evaluating [Sunday’s] performance and putting together a formula for success this week,” Tomlin said. “A lot of things are involved in that. Personnel matchups are part of that. We’ll address that at the appropriate time. I’m just not ready to have that kind of discussion at this juncture.”
Essex replaced Scott on offense after Scott allowed the safety and played pretty well at the LT spot in that last drive. Officially the Steelers said that Scott had a “stinger,” but Tomlin Monday didn’t mention him among his injured players.
“He was less than 100 percent from a physical standpoint and we felt like Trai gave us the best opportunity to navigate the ball downfield,” Tomlin said.
If Essex is the starter Thursday night against the Panthers, he would become the third different starting left tackle this season. Max Starks went on injured reserve after the first Bengals game, and tt also would be the sixth different line combination this season and the second demotion.
Bottom line, if Essex is playing better right now, then he should be the starter. Scott has had his shot, and gave up a play that in the end gave up two points in a game where the Steelers would have been able to tie it at the end, but down five were forced to go for a touchdown instead of hitting a chip shot field goal, going into OT, and getting a shot to win it there.
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