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.