The Pittsburgh Steelers were dealt a couple of blows at the wide receiver position during their 38-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
Although it was widely reported during the telecast that Emmanuel Sanders left the game with a knee injury, rookie Markus Wheaton apparently fractured a finger during Pittsburgh’s Week 16 win as well:
Tomlin: Injuries-Garvin knee sprain, questionable. Manny lateral minisces questionable. Wheaton finger fracture. Worilds abdominal injury.
— David Todd (@DavidMTodd) December 23, 2013
With two of the top four receivers on Pittsburgh’s depth chart potentially set to miss the team’s final regular season contest, the seldom used (two catches, 20 yards, one touchdown) Derek Moye could be in line to see some extended playing time against the Cleveland Browns.
With Sanders and even Jerricho Cotchery becoming unrestricted free agents in March, Moye could be in line to climb up the depth chart next fall. Thus, the large-framed pass-catcher (6’5″ 210 lbs.) will need to take advantage of every opportunity he receives from now until the 2014 preseason begins.
Not only will Moye likely be activated in place of Wheaton, Justin Brown (6’3″ 209 lbs.) could be called up from the practice squad to fill out the depth chart if the team needs to dress a fifth wide receiver in the event that Sanders sits.
Like Moye, Brown will also be trying to impress Pittsburgh’s brass during the upcoming offseason. Although he has been a member of the practice squad during the entirety of his rookie campaign, the former sixth round pick enjoyed a solid preseason. Best of all, Brown has apparently been impressing the coaching staff with his play on the scout team this year as well.
If Wheaton and Sanders are able, then there is no question that the Steelers’ brass will green-light them for Sunday’s game. Yet if one or both are forced to sit, then Pittsburgh’s coaching staff might have to call upon one of their two larger-framed youngsters to pick up the slack on Sunday afternoon.
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