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Insider Only NFL: Starks evaluating options as season could be over

The Pittsburgh Steelers appeared to have dodged a bullet on the injury front with starting center Maurkice Pouncey but it doesn’t appear that the team has with left tackle Max Starks.
Head coach Mike Tomlin said today at his weekly press conference that Starks only suffered a “stinger” in Monday’s game but upon further review, Starks maybe out for the rest of the season.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, an MRI revealed this afternoon that Starks has a “serious neck injury” involving a disc. The injury is much worse than the Steelers first believed and could knock Starks out for the season.
When reached for comment, Starks agent Eugene Parker

declined comment on the specifics of the injury, stating that Starks is “reviewing his options.”
Surgery for Starks is the worse case scenario that will end his season. There is some hope that the injury can be healed through rehab and therapy, which will give Starks the opportunity to return this season.
Jonathan Scott is expected to take over the starting left tackle job for the time being.
The Steelers are not expected to consider the possibility of moving Flozell Adams from right tackle to left tackle.
Losing Starks for the season would be a significant blow to the Steelers Super Bowl hopes. Starks may not be a perrenial pro bowler but there’s a major drop from Starks to Jonathan Scott.
3rd year pro Tony Hills could push himself into some playing time, but the starting left tackle spot will be Scott’s to lose with Starks sidelined.
A long-term injury to Starks and a knee sprain to Chris Kemoeatu could force the Steelers to make a roster move as the Steelers only have 9 offensive linemen on their active roster.
Kemoeatu is regarded as questionable this week against New England and Doug Legursky will likely start in place of him. Ramon Foster should also be in the mix but he appears to have fallen out of favor with new offensive line coach Sean Kugler.
There are few options on the free agent market for a tackle and no real options to find a potential starter.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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