Many were left wondering whether or not Markus Wheaton’s broken right pinky would prevent the rookie wide receiver from playing in Pittsburgh’s upcoming game against the New York Jets. Earlier today, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette shed some unfortunate light on the status of the former Oregon State Beaver’s pinky via Twitter:
WR Markus Wheaton says he will miss game vs. #Jets with broken right pinky. Won't get stitches out until next Monday.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 7, 2013
The loss of Wheaton not only forces Pittsburgh’s fastest wide receiver to the sidelines, but it also will force the Steelers’ coaching staff to make some personnel changes this weekend. Luckily for Pittsburgh’s brass, they should be able to turn to Derek Moye against the Jets to fill Wheaton’s spot on the active roster.
Moye, who has been inactive for Pittsburgh’s last two games, will finally be inserted back into the lineup. Why Moye was relegated to the bench made little sense to me, especially when he possesses the size and physical tools to be a threat in the red zone passing game.
I for one cannot predict when Wheaton will return to the lineup, but I would not be shocked if he missed this Sunday’s game plus Pittsburgh’s following game against the Ravens if he will not get his stitches out until next Monday.
With Wheaton sidelined though, Moye will likely receive his most extensive work of the regular season against the Jets. I just hope the former Penn State Nittany Lion can play well enough for the Steelers make other players (David Paulson for instance) inactive once Wheaton’s pinky finally heals.
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