Pittsburgh Steelers fans who hope to see the team bring in a veteran offensive tackle to help shore up the battered and bruised offensive line may not get their wish in the form of Max Starks. The Steelers’ 23-20 defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, but saw both of their starting offensive tackles go down with injuries. At right tackle, Marcus Gilbert left with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. He would return to action though in the fourth quarter when left tackle Jonathan Scott was carted off the field with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. Veteran Trai Essex moved over to right tackle in Gilbert’s place.
No word yet on the severity of either injury, but as was mentioned, there’s some who are clamoring for an outside body to be brought in, even if Scott’s injury isn’t serious. That’s because Scott had a tough time containing All Pro pass rusher Dwight Freeney, who had two sacks on the night, including a strip-sack of Ben Roethlisberger in the second quarter that allowed Indianapolis to fight their way back into the game after falling down 10-0 early in the first quarter.
Two names that have been discussed as possibilities are Max Starks and Flozell Adams, both of whom were with the team last year. Of course, this conversation was had when Willie Colon was lost for the year with a triceps injury. Is the current situation so dire that Kevin Colbert will more aggressively pursue one of those two, or perhaps someone else still not on a roster? Perhaps, we’ll see. But if it’s Starks that the team wants, they may be too late, as it’s being reported that Starks worked out for the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.
The Vikings’ starting tackles had issues of their own during Minnesota’s Week 3 loss to the Detroit Lions. LT Charlie Johnson and RT Phil Loadholt played poorly, and their inability to open up running lanes and give Donovan McNabb time in the pocket played a part in Minnesota blowing a double-digit lead for the third consecutive game to begin the new year. We’ll see if Starks ends up signing in Minnesota, or if a phone call from the Steelers’ front office might convince him to bide his time and head back to the Steel City. Starks is the only player in NFL history to start at both right and left tackle for separate Super Bowl championship teams. He was released earlier this summer.