On Friday evening the Pittsburgh Steelers turned on the lights at Heinz Field and simulated game conditions in preparation for the team’s Monday Night Football season-opener, scheduled for September 14 vs. the New York Giants. The team went so far as to come out of the visiting team’s tunnel and stood on the visiting team’s sideline, then played what head coach Mike Tomlin described as a ‘mock road game’—basically a controlled scrimmage that lasted 45 minutes, all in the midst of a heavy rain.
There was just one player injured during the ‘mock game,’ but it could be a significant development, as All-Pro offensive guard David DeCastro left early with an injury that Tomlin said is “in the process of being evaluated.”
“I’ll have some information for you guys I’d imagine the next time we get together,” he added. DeCastro has previously missed significant practice time during this year’s training camp.
At the same time, Tomlin noted that another offensive lineman who has missed practice time returned to the practice field on Friday.
“It was good to get Kevin Dotson back out there,” advised Tomlin, referring to the rookie fourth-round draft pick.
Steelers Looking to Sign an Offensive Guard?
It’s worth noting though that the Steelers have been looking at adding a free agent offensive guard. Earlier this week the Steelers had former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive lineman Caleb Benenoch in for a tryout.
Benenoch is a former 2016 fifth-round pick who played for the Bucs between 2016 and 2019. During his four years in Tampa Bay Benenoch appeared in 35 games with 22 starts, including 16 starts at right guard in 2018. But he couldn’t hold onto his starting job, largely because of issues with pass protection and penalties.
Since being released by the Bucs in September of last year Benenoch has spent time with the New England Patriots, Carolina Panthers, Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, but never appeared in a game with any of those teams.
Steelers Players Who Missed the ‘Mock Road Game’
There were four players who missed Friday night’s practice with injuries: Wide receiver Ryan Switzer, tight end Vance McDonald, defensive end Chris Wormley, and long snapper Kameron Canaday. Safety Terrell Edmunds and wide receiver Diontae Johnson dressed for practice but did not participate.
Kameron Canaday’s injury is worth monitoring. On Thursday the Steelers announced that they signed free agent long snapper Liam McCullough, one of 2 free agents added to the roster that day.
McCullough, who played at Ohio State University, was a finalist for the Patrick Mannelly Award in 2019, which goes to the top long snapper in the country. He signed with the Las Vegas Raiders in April as an undrafted free agent but was waived earlier this month.
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