Feiler to left guard as possible gimmick vs. Donald


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Matt Feiler. - MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

Facing the NFL's premier defensive player is no joke and, as such, it's a challenge the Steelers appear to be taking plenty seriously.

Matt Feiler, the starting right tackle, confirmed after practice Friday at the Rooney Complex that he worked at left guard for a second consecutive day. If that holds Sunday against the Rams at Heinz Field, he'd be on the interior of the line and possibly focused on preventing Aaron Donald from doing AD things all day.

At 6-6, 330 pounds, Feiler would offer a bigger frame than B.J. Finney, the recent replacement for Ramon Foster, who remains out with a concussion and won't play Sunday.

Concurrently, and likely not coincidentally, Chuks Okorafor confirmed he took first-team reps at right tackle, his natural position.


“They just want to give me reps there, keep me fresh at every position that they can,” Feiler responded without elaboration when the subject was broached after practice.

Right. On the week of a big game.

Okorafor, speaking a little later, offered little more.

“I have no idea what the game plan is,” he said. “I’ll just keep doing my thing. If they need me to play scout-team, left tackle, right, it doesn’t matter.”

How the Steelers scheme for Donald definitely will matter, and no one reading this needs to know why. Gimmicks are anything but the norm for Mike Tomlin, but Donald's no ordinary opponent. If Feiler stays on the inside, it'll almost certainly be to help Maurkice Pouncey with a double-team rather than anything in isolation.

Pressed for more, Feiler downplayed the move in all ways.

"Just switching from right side to left side, the footwork's a little bit different," he said. "And I just gotta flip everything that I know from the right side to the left side in my head."

So, no preferred comfort level?

"Not really. I'll play whatever position."

I raised this topic later in the day with Steelers Nation Radio's Craig Wolfley, something of an expert in the field, in hosting a full radio show today on 105.9 the X, and he had additional insights:

The full and final injury/participation report can be found right here.

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