The Pittsburgh Steelers secondary hasn’t allowed an opposing quarterback to throw for more than 200 yards in the past eight weeks, but that streak will be severely tested Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
With the Steelers already playing without No. 1 corner Ike Taylor, who will miss a second consecutive game with an ankle injury, both Keenan Lewis and Cortez Allen suffered hip flexor strains in the loss to San Diego, with Allen’s being the more severe injury.
During his weekly press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that Allen’s injury may “put his participation into question” against the Cowboys.
As things stand right now, Allen is listed as day-to-day, and Tomlin said he would be limited in practice as the team evaluated his condition and as of Wednesday he hasn’t practiced.
If Allen can’t go the Steelers could be in trouble against Tony Romo and company. Dallas wide receiver Dez Bryant is playing with a finger injury, but he’s also on a roll. Bryant has caught 75 passes on the season for 1,028 yards and nine touchdowns, but in the past five weeks has hauled in 33 passes for 525 yards and seven touchdowns.
Replacing Allen would be Curtis Brown, who didn’t pass the eye test against the Chargers. Brown was targeted six times by Phillip Rivers, surrendering catches on all six, with five moving the chains on third downs.
It’s not that Allen played that much better, but Brown was an obvious sore spot, one you can bet Romo will attacking on Sunday.
But if Brown is moved into the starting lineup, that means the likes of Josh Victorian and DeMarcus Van Dyke will be pressed into action, which is something that could happen even if Allen plays and Brown struggles. We’ve seem Tomlin demote more than one player this season, so Brown could be next in line.
The Steelers have been dealing with injuries all season, but one position they really couldn’t afford them was at cornerback.
Someone is going to have to step up for the Steelers to leave Dallas on Sunday with a win. We will see who is up to the challenge.