Looking At The Steelers Cornerback Situation With Ike Taylor Likely Out A Little While

It was reported late Sunday that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor may have suffered fibula injury in the Sunday win over the Baltimore Ravens that could keep him out for 2-6 weeks. Should that indeed be the case the Steelers cornerback situation will obviously change.

Second-year cornerback Cortez Allen replaced Taylor in the base defense and that will be the plan moving forward. Allen had three passes defensed in relief of Taylor, but his pass interference penalty and failed coverage on Anquan Boldin that resulted in a touchdown made his play uneven on the night.

When the Steelers went to their nickel package second-year cornerback Curtis Brown entered the game and played outside on most of his snaps with Allen continuing to play his nickel slot role that he has played all season long. This too is expected to be the plan moving forward.

With Taylor likely to be sidelined indefinitely we will likely see cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke now dress in his place as the fourth cornerback on gamedays. Van Dyke is regarded generally as an outside corner, so we have likely seen the last of the seldom used dime package at least initially. In the event that they do play dime, Brown very well might be the one to move inside with Van Dyke playing the outside spot in those situations.

The Steelers will also likely make a practice squad move this week in addition and cornerback Josh Victorian is the player I would expect to be brought back. He was released last week from the practice squad after being a fixture there since the start of the season.

Taylor is expected to undergo an MRI Monday and head coach Mike Tomlin will most likely address his status on Tuesday during his weekly press conference. Hopefully the injury is not serious enough to sideline the veteran corner for more than just a few weeks.

A possitive out of this is that both Allen and Brown will both get some extended playing time until Taylor returns that will help their future development.

  • steeltown

    I do like the fact that we will now get an extensive look at C.Allen and C.Brown, but NOT at the expense of losing Ike. On a side note, signing Van Dyke a few weeks back now looks like a pretty smart move by the coaching staff. At the time they said they coveted Van Dyke in the last draft on the same lines as they did Brown and Allen, he’s very athletic but very raw just like C.Allen was when he was drafted.

  • Garrett Hunt

    Ike may be lost for now, but not the season. He should (hopefully) be back and in game shape by the playoffs. He’s not Ike, but to me Cortez Allen showed enough to fill the void well enough. Come playoffs this could end up helping us with three experienced corners.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. In game experience is invaluable, especially for C.Brown who really has not played much on Defense

  • Steelers are loaded everywhere on Defense with talent (except Ryan Mundy), that’s why they’re the #1 ranked Defense in the NFL every season. They should maintain their #1 Defensive ranking even without Ike Taylor for a few weeks until he returns, hopefully LaMarr Woodley comes back soon as well though, we’ll need them for the playoffs.

  • Pete

    Polamalu commented that the defense is playing so well in large part due to the play of the corners. If we think back to Gay and McFadden and how we were biting our nails on every pass play, these guys, Allen, Brown and now Lewis are the best corners we’ve had in many years. They’re tall, athletic and fast. These guys can press cover and they can only get better.

    With Ike out, I’m not worried. I like what I’m seeing so far and I think they can handle it while he’s healing. A lot of praise also has to go to Carnell Lake who has done a great job with the DBs.

  • I think the next few weeks will be fun, I think Allen and Brown are ready for the rotation, Mundy is much improved (though I know some fans hold grudges a long time.).
    And most of all I can’t wait to see Keenan against Dez Bryant and A. J. Green. I think that will solidify his place among the leagues top corners. Great job against Torrey Smith when Ike went down.
    . We’ve seen enough of C-Allen to be comfortable, Brown is the question mark, will he be a better fit in the slot or on the outside? Some of those 2s, 3s & TEs sport names like.names like Austin, Witten, Ogletree & Tate.
    Its an opportunity for 2 guys who say they want it. Next man up, the standard is the standard.

  • I can say those guys look pretty comfortable, especially Lewis.

  • PoKey21

    Throw in Malcom Floydd, Antonio Gates, Robert Meachem, and Jermaine Gresham and Browns role becomes all the more important,