Steelers Week 5 Game Might Feature Something We Haven’t Seen In Years

The Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars could feature something that we haven’t seen happen in quite a while.

Assuming tackle Marcus Gilbert and safety Mike Mitchell ultimately wind up playing Sunday against the Jaguars, we just might get to see all intended 22 starters play in one game together for the first time in at least several seasons.

The Steelers were real close to accomplishing that feat in Week 1 but outside linebacker Bud Dupree ultimately missed the opener against the Cleveland Browns with a shoulder injury. While Dupree was back in Week 2, defensive end Stephon Tuitt then proceeded to miss not only that game, but the Week 3 game as well with a biceps injury along with Gilbert, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury. This past Sunday, two intended starters, Gilbert and Mitchell, sat out the game against the Baltimore Ravens.

So, when exactly was the last time the Steelers had all 22 intended starters on the field during one game? Well, we know it didn’t happen last season thanks to injuries suffered by Dupree and defensive end Cameron Heyward. We certainly know the all-22 feat wasn’t accomplished in 2015 as center Maurkice Pouncey missed the entire season with a leg injury.

What about the 2014 season?

Well, if you go back to the 2014 Week 2 game against the Baltimore Ravens, you’ll see the game day 53-man roster for that contest below. My, a lot sure has changed since then, but even so, that might officially be the last time all 22 intended starters played in a regular season game together. Sure, Cam Thomas can be questioned, but he was a starter during the preseason and holding a spot until Tuitt was ready. Brett Keisel wasn’t re-signed until late in August that year and didn’t actually start until much later in the season.

Keep your fingers crossed that we’ll get treated to this huge feat on Sunday.

  • Steel-on-Target

    Looking at that 2014 defensive roster really drove home what a massive change has been going on over a short time!

  • NCSteel

    Unreal.

  • gdeuce

    I don’t think Gilbert will play, he was held out of practice today after being a full participant yesterday

  • Jim W e x e l l reported Gilbert sitting today was precautionary and he is expected to play Sunday.

  • gdeuce

    that’s great news, he will be needed against that Jags pass rush

  • Yea, he’ll have his work cut out for him going up against Calais Campbell.

  • Mike Rowan

    Great find. I also find it very encouraging (impending apocalypse notwithstanding).

    By my reckoning, this year’s squad is better at at least 15 of the 22 starting spots. I’d venture to say much better at the following spots, either because of personnel development or changes in personnel: LT, C, RG, RT, WR#2, FB, RB, LDE, NT, RDE, LOLB, LILB, ROLB, and RCB. It seems very safe to say, too, that the team’s depth at key positions has gotten a lot better as well, especially at OLB, WR, RB, on O-Line, and with DB’s.

    Where there’s arguably a drop-off at certain positions, I don’t think it’s huge and is more than compensated for by improvement at other positions. The possible exception, as it appears thus far in the season, is at the most important position of all: QB.

    That, though, is not something that I think we’ll seeing going forward. There are some very good reasons why the offense has yet to produce like some of us anticipated; for example, there’s Bell’s holdout, Bryant getting used to the game again, the lack of a consistent safety valve a la Heath Miller, and, to the point of this article, injuries (e.g., Gilbert), as well as Villanueva not playing very well early on, much as one might expect for a LT who lost 20 lbs. due to sickness. Add to all of that a preseason that, more than I’ve ever seen, didn’t amount to much of a dress rehearsal, if at all, and it shouldn’t be any surprise, I don’t think, that we’ve seen more than a little lackluster play in the first four games.

    None of these factors, though, saving perhaps for the drop-off at TE, are beyond redress; in fact, barring injuries, which, of course, defy prediction, it seems pretty likely–in part, based on what we saw last week against Baltimore–that the team will get a lot better as the season goes on, and I’d bet that includes Roethlisberger looking like a Pro Bowl-caliber QB again.

    Then there’s the obvious: the team is 3-1 and that includes a win in Baltimore, which will surely prove a lot more significant in December than losing to Chicago. I remember, after the KC trouncing last year, thinking this team could beat, if not blow out, anyone in the league. That equation obviously changed for more reasons than one, and ultimately was nowhere close to good enough to match up with the Team That Shall Not Be Named. If I remember correctly, Cowher had a thing about ‘not peaking too early.’ I think there might be something to that, and, to state the obvious once more, I’d rather see play like we saw against KC last year when it really counts, rather than at the beginning of the season, and for what it’s worth–again, barring injuries–I suspect we will.

    We shall see. I’m very optimistic, so long as the world lasts through January.

  • 6 ring circus

    Shout out to Warren Sapp! HYLUN? (how you like us now?)

  • PaeperCup

    I sure do miss troy.

  • Conserv_58

    Given that Gilbert didn’t practice at all yesterday I think he’s going to be inactive for Sunday. That isn’t the least bit comforting since Hubbard is going to have his hands full. I expect Haley to enlist help for him either by using Finney in the way he used him in Baltimore or have Vance McDonald help.

  • Conserv_58

    Imagine having Troy in his prime and Ryan Shazier on the field at the same time.

  • Conserv_58

    I will never forget that Monday night game in miami when Sapp decided to arrogantly skip through the Steelers players as they were warming up and it ticked Jerome off enough for him to shove Sapp’s fat butt back toward their side of the field. I also remember saying to a friend, right after Jerome shoved Sapp, that idiot just lost the game for them. My friend said, “I don’t know about that.” That’s when I said, “Look at Jerome’s face. You’re looking at Mount St. Bettis. He’s livid and he’s pi$$ed off. The team feeds off of him and their gonna make Sapp pay for disrespecting them. The Steelers mopped the field with them.

  • 6 ring circus

    If ever a last name was appropriate for a person, lol.

  • PaeperCup

    yikes, that’d be nearly impossible for an offense to account for both of them.

  • SteelersGeek4Lyfe

    Shazier reminds me of Polamalu. I hope he stays healthy all season, has been a beast so far.