When the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, they will do so minus two key starters. Defensive tackle Cam Heyward went on IR last week with a torn groin and wide receiver Diontae Johnson is out with a hamstring injury. How will head coach Mike Tomlin adjust to life without two of his best players?
Tomlin talked about overcoming injuries and at the time there were several other players still on the fence about playing. When the team put out its game status report, guys like offensive tackle Chuks Okorafor and tight end Pat Freiermuth were all listed as healthy which should make his job a bit easier.
“Play to the strengths of those who are playing,” Tomlin said.
But it goes deeper than that. As Tomlin also noted it isn’t only about playing to the strengths of guys like wide receiver Calvin Austin III and defensive lineman Isaiahh Loudermilk but it is also about minimizing their weaknesses.
Where will the Steelers have to make the biggest changes? Offense for sure. You don’t just replace a player like Johnson when the rest of the offense is so young. This is where a guy like veteran wide receiver Allen Robinson II can help quarterback Kenny Pickett.