Jim Wexell reports this afternoon that Doug Legursky will start Sunday night at left guard in place of Chris Kemoeatu against the Kansas City Chiefs. Reportedly the change is not because of the knee injury that has troubled Kemoeatu off and on this season, but more related to performance by Kemoeatu.
Legursky dressed back in week 10 against the Bengals for the first time since he dislocated a toe against the Jaguars back in week 6. Kemoeatu has been very inconsistent this year and leads the Steelers in quarterback pressures allowed and this is the most likeliest reason for the change. Kemoeatu was quoted as saying today, “They made a switch for this game. They\’re going a different route this week.” He also said his knee felt good but was quoted as saying, “They told me I don\’t look healthy out there, bad tape.”
Legursky opened the season as the starting right guard until he injured his shoulder late in the week 3 game against the Colts. He started at left guard in place of the injured Kemoeatu against both the Titans and the Jaguars before he suffered the toe injury that shelved him several weeks.
This move also supports the wide spread speculation that Kemoeatu will not be back with the Steelers in 2012 under his current contract. He is signed through the 2013 season and scheduled to count nearly $5.262 against the 2012 salary cap. This also supports my theory that a left guard will be a high priority in the 2012 draft.