Due to the ankle injury he sustained against the Tennessee Titans on opening weekend, starting cornerback Cortez Allen was sidelined for Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. While Teresa Varley of Steelers.com shared the status of many of Pittsburgh’s injured players earlier today, there was no mention of Allen and his injured ankle in the article.
Allen did not practice during the entirety of last week according to ESPN.com’s Scott Brown, and his status for this Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Bears remains uncertain. Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette even tweeted the following yesterday morning:
#Steelers Tomlin: Optimistic on Cortez Allen, but hasn't been evaluated yet this week
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) September 17, 2013
The third-year cornerback gives the Steelers a good deal of size on the outside (6’1″ lbs.) of their defense, and also a cornerback who proved that he could force much-needed takeaways (six total) last fall. His play down the stretch was one of the main reasons why the team allowed former starter Keenan Lewis to walk as an unrestricted free agent this past spring.
The Steelers definitely missed Allen’s presence on Monday night at Paul Brown Stadium. Although Ike Taylor played well against A.J. Green, Pittsburgh’s defense had to use young safeties like Shamarko Thomas and Robert Golden in their secondary as cornerbacks since William Gay was moved outside to Allen’s spot.
While the extra week of rest has helped Allen, it will be interesting to follow the cornerback’s progress throughout the coming days to see if he will be ready to play versus the Bears at Heinz Field this weekend. Pittsburgh needs a boost on the defensive side of the ball, and hopefully the return of a healthy Allen this weekend will help them when they face Chicago’s talented play-makers.
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