Steelers Place Guard on IR, Activate Former 49ers Pass Rusher

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Getty Images Pittsburgh Steelers helmet.

During Sunday night’s 26-15 loss, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost a pair of offensive linemen to what were described as pectoral injuries. On Monday, one of those two linemen, Matt Feiler, was placed on injured reserve, meaning that he will not be eligible to play again until the postseason.

Replacing Matt Feiler

Feiler started all 13 games at left guard this season and presumably would have been replaced in the starting lineup by rookie guard Kevin Dotson, except Dotson also suffered a pec injury after he relieved Feiler on Sunday night. It remains to be seen how serious Dotson’s injury is—and whether he too will be added to injured reserve.

Either way, Pittsburgh will be getting far into its offensive line depth against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. After Dotson got hurt, the Steelers used backup center J.C. Hassenauer at left guard, hardly an ideal situation, as the team wants to keep Hassenauer healthy in case starting center Maurkice Pouncey gets injured or is otherwise unavailable.

Expect Pittsburgh to try to sign an offensive guard, most likely off another team’s practice squad. Stefen Wisniewski, who the Steelers released on November 7th, might have been an option when he was first picked up by Kansas City and added to its practice squad on November 25th, but at the moment he is on Kansas City’s active roster.

Pittsburgh may also try to add a guard to its practice squad. The Steelers have three offensive linemen on the practice squad—Anthony Coyle (Fordham), Jarron Jones (Notre Dame) and Brandon Walton (Florida Atlantic)—but all three are tackles.

The Steelers also have former seventh-round pick Derwin Gray on the active roster (he was inactive for the Buffalo game), but his background is at tackle as well.

Cassius Marsh Activated

Meanwhile, defensive end Cassius March (who figures to play outside linebacker for the Steelers) was activated on Monday and took Feiler’s place on the 53-man roster.

Marsh, a former fourth-round draft pick of the Seattle Seahawks, was signed (off the Indianapolis Colts practice squad) by the Steelers on December 9th.

The move to activate Marsh could indicate that rookie outside linebacker Alex Highsmith is ailing. You may recall that Highsmith was attended to by trainers on multiple occasions during Sunday night’s game. (Marsh was signed to add depth behind Highsmith, not to mention Ola Adeniyi and Jayrone Elliott.)

Marsh has been a member of six different NFL teams in the past seven years, including the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and Jacksonville Jaguars.

In 91 career NFL games (nine starts), he has been credited with 173 total tackles (126 solo), with 14 sacks, 25 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries. His most successful stint came with San Francisco in 2018, when he started three of the 16 games in which he appeared, recording 38 tackles, with seven tackles for loss, 14 quarterback hits and five-and-a-half sacks.

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