Mike Tomlin Comfortable With Playing ILB L.J. Fort If Need Arises

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter Week 7 of their 2017 regular season with two inside linebackers perhaps questionable for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals as starter Vince Williams and his backup Tyler Matakevich are both currently dealing with injuries suffered during the teams Week 6 Sunday road win over the Kansas City Chiefs. With both players currently hurt, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Tuesday press conference if he’s comfortable with the depth he has at the inside linebacker position and specifically when it comes to L.J. Fort.

“I am comfortable,” Tomlin said of Fort. “Fort is one of those unique guys that’s third on the depth chart, he’s been here for a number of years. So, I’m comfortable with not only his ability, but his exposure and knowledge as well.”

Being as Fort is probably best-suited to play the mack inside linebacker position and because Williams and Matakevich are both probably best-suited to play the buck position, Tomlin was asked Tuesday if it’s a big difference for a player to switch from one side to the other.

“It is not, no,” Tomlin said.

Tomlin was then asked if outside linebacker Arthur Moats could potentially help at the inside linebacker position should the need arise on Sunday against the Bengals.

“If need be, but I doubt that that would be an issue,” Tomlin said. “Again, both guys are leaking, talking about Vince [Williams] and Red [Matakevich], but both guys have a potential for making it [playing Sunday]. It would take both guys not making it before we got into those type scenarios.”

Moats would only be in consideration because of he played inside with the Buffalo Bills several years ago. In short, don’t expect that to happen on Sunday as Moats hasn’t played the position in several years.

As of Tuesday, the Steelers no longer have the luxury of re-signing veteran inside linebacker Steven Johnson as he has now signed with the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers currently have rookie inside linebacker Keith Kelsey on their practice squad and if Williams and Matakevich are both not healthy enough to play come Saturday, the team might consider signing him to their 53-man roster.

Additionally, the Steelers did sign safety Jordan Dangerfield to their practice squad on Monday and being as he can play special teams as well as in the box, he might be the better choice when it comes to a Saturday promotion from the 10-man unit.

  • nutty32

    92 sees a handful of snaps inside in certain nickle sets. Just saying…

  • SeventhHeavan

    Fort should be Williams backup. IMO, hes a better ILB than Tyler.

  • Charles Mullins

    92 needs to seem some snaps at NT… He is looking extra thick this year.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    You just know Baltimore signed Steve Johnson out of spite when they saw the injuries to Williams & Matakevich.

  • Pack

    So we’re still sure we can’t move Tj inside and start Deebo?

  • AndyR34

    I find it interesting that your ego compels you to indicate that you know more about the ILB position than Olsavsky, Butler, and Tomlin.

  • Matt Manzo

    Maybe he’s spying for us!

  • Iulo

    really? hahaha… these teams of the north (I mean here cincy, cleveland and baltimore) always seeing what their big brother does…. it is so ridiculous like the draft picks they made ahead of PIT just because they were sure PIT wanted a specific player…

  • Steve Johnson

    It will be interesting to see if the team comes out and plays with the same intensity we saw Sunday at Kansas City. Or, will we see the team that played Jacksonville and Chicago. Stay Tuned.

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    As always, should you or any of your Black & Gold Force be caught or killed, the Chief will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This tape will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Steve

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    When did Dirty Red get hurt?!!!
    I could have sworn that as late as yesterday his play on Sunday was being discussed?

  • Jim Foles

    Seems like a fit.

  • steelburg

    Sean Spence is still available. They should give him a call.