Lions T Brian Mihalik Expected To Make First Career Start Against Former Team

With just a few days renaming before the Week 8 Sunday night game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Detroit Lions, it’s looking more and more like a former member of one of the two teams will make his first career start for the other one.

Lions tackle Brian Mihalik, who was previously with the Steelers, is scheduled to start Sunday night at left tackle being as starter Greg Robinson is currently expected to miss the contest with an ankle injury after failing to practice on Wednesday and Thursday.

Mihalik, who was originally selected in the seventh-round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles as a defensive lineman out of Boston College, signed with the Steelers in in early 2016 as a futures player. The Steelers then switched him to tackle and ultimately waived him injured that September due to a knee injury that he had suffered during the preseason.

Once healthy again, the Lions signed Mihalik to their 53-man roster for one game last October and then proceeded to waive him with hopes they could get him to their practice squad. The Steelers, however, claimed Mihalik off waivers and he remained on their 53-man roster the remainder of the 2016 season.

While Mihalik was with the Steelers this year during training camp and the preseason, he was ultimately waived by the team during their final round of cuts and the Lions quickly claimed him.

In the Lions Week 6 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Mihalik made his NFL debut at left tackle in place of Robinson. He later had to switch to right tackle after Ricky Wagner went down injured. He played 27 total offensive snaps in that game and allowed one sack and a few pressures.

“It was a little bit hectic,” Mihalik said this week. “I just tried to go in and do whatever I could to give our team the best chance I could to win.”

During his conference call this week with the Lions media, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin spoke highly of Mihalik.

“You know, got a lot of respect for Brian,” Tomlin said. “He was a hard-working guy for us. He transitioned form the defensive line, I don’t know how widely known that is. That guy was a defensive lineman at Boston College. He really bought into the techniques and worked extremely hard, and what’s going on with him is no accident.

“He deserves that opportunity and I’m sure he’s excited about it.”

Should Mihalik indeed wind up making his first career start Sunday night in Detroit against the Steelers he’ll be faced with stopping rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt most of the game. Watt enters Sunday’s game with four sacks on the season and the two players should be well-acquainted with one another thanks to them practicing against each other this past summer.

Whenever Watt is out of the game, Mihalik will likely have to square off against Steelers veteran outside linebacker James Harrison, who has played very limited snaps so far this season.

In short, Mihalik will certainly have his hands full Sunday night when it comes to him attempting to keep Steelers defensive players away from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has already been sacked 23 times in Detroit’s first six games of the regular season.

  • Dan

    That was one of the most brutal tackle highlights that I’ve ever seen.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I sat behind the bench a few games…he looks willowy. If he starts someone is going to eat his lunch. IMHO it won’t end well for him or their very highly paid QB.

  • Rocksolid20

    Let Dedo take him to school .

  • deuce_seven

    If they are smart, they’ll give Harrison a lot of reps against him. A tall, inexperienced OT against a powerful short pass rusher will be doom for the Lions.

  • Richard Edlin

    I think Deado might be his quarterback.

  • 太阳三联

    Attack em cus you know they’re gonna attack our weaknesses

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    I think even watt will give em trouble too

  • Danielsteelstrong81

    At least 8 sacks from our defense in this game

  • PaeperCup

    Didn’t realize he was another Eagles DL turned OL by the Steelers

  • Lambert58

    Between Watt and Deebo, he’s in for a LOOOOOONG day.

  • Conserv_58

    Mahalik is a nice story, but he’s still toast. Mahalik struggles with his balance against smaller pass rushers. Just like he did in the Chiefs game, Joey needs to unleash the beast, Deebo against Mahalik in this game.

  • Conserv_58

    He’s going to be Deebo’s B..ch.

  • JNick

    Mihalik sacked his own QB. Literally knocked Stafford off his feet. Lol

  • dany

    Even if he’s no good, gotta be cool facing the team the team that switched your position and polished your game, probably wouldn’t be in the league without it. Him and Villanueva are such great stories

  • Marcus Miceli

    brought out the d line in him, sacking QBS lol

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I don’t think it much matters who it is but it will be like throwing a hotdog down the hallway unless they get him some help

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    He is a good story but about 30 lbs to light. He needs to get on the AV program…. eat, workout, eat some more, work out, have a little boom boom, eat and then sleep… wake up, a little boom boom and sleep. Repeat

  • I don’t know if you guys have met yet, but Brian, meet TJ.

  • will

    ???

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    This guy’s a jabronie. If whoever is going against him doesn’t beat him like a government mule , they should be ashamed of themselves.

  • Brian Mihalik and TJ Watt will line against each other most of the game. Try to keep up.

  • MC

    Let’s go Watt! hoping for a two sack game in this one.

  • Kevin Schwartz

    Watching Ravens-Dolphins right now, and Mosley just ran in a pick-6. Homerism aside, was Shazier over Mosley a good pick in that draft? I’d call it a toss-up, to be honest, and both have been excellent. Shazier has a bit more big play ability, Mosley is a bit more consistent.

  • To Mr. Mihalik:

    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  • will

    But the article states that they lined up against each other most of the preseason……and you stated “I don’t know if you guys have met yet, but Brian meet TJ”. Try to keep up😐

  • sarcasm…

    There isn’t a special font for it…

  • Conserv_58

    I watched him intently at training camp for the past two years and he’s no A.V. He’s the same hight as AV, but his technique and footwork are still raw. He’s shown enough for the Steelers and Lions to invest time in him, but he’s far from being ready to play LT adequately enough to not be a liability. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Lions are going to enlist help on Mahalik’s side with a TE. They have to if they expect Stafford to make it through the game.

  • Conserv_58

    If you were the Lion’s OC wouldn’t you put a blocking TE on that side?

  • will

    Nice cover. And thank you

  • NW86

    YES!

  • WARisHELL

    I will be mighty upset if Mr. Watt doesn’t have a multi-sack game