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By: Allison Koehler
In a press conference over the weekend, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked why guard Kevin Dotson was with the reserves at practice. Tomlin’s “he hasn’t worked” response left many folks outside of the organization scratching their heads, and speculation ran rampant.
On Tuesday, Dotson cleared the air — hasn’t worked means hasn’t practiced.
“I have not legit done anything,” Dotson said in Tuesday’s post-practice press conference. “There is nothing to look at for my body of work. I have not practiced once. Yesterday was my first half practice. He wasn’t lying.”
“I still have to prove myself. I am not a No. 1 proven guy. I still have to prove myself.”
It’s uncertain how and when Dotson injured his ankle, but he just returned to practice this week. Dotson should revert to the first team once he gets in the work that Tomlin expects of him. After all, he’s listed as the starter on the Steelers depth chart. Rashaad Cowherd, working with the ones in Dotson’s place, is behind Trai Turner on Ben Roethlisberger’s right side.
When he says I haven’t worked I legit have not been practicing ,out with a injury .sounds weird when read on Twitter https://t.co/Z3MhIVmU5x
— Steelersfan696969 (@kdd7696) August 8, 2021
Dotson shared that he’s been cautious about the “lingering” injury as it pertains to practice. The season is a long one and hasn’t even started yet.
“It’s one of those things where you don’t want to go out there and hurt it more,” said Dotson. “I took as much as I can to get back, to get right. I feel like I will be able to get back in it. I am feeling 100 percent, or close to.”
Being a second-year player comes with a ton of expectations, and Dotson isn’t disappointed by the lost time.
“The frustration is me not being able to prove myself,” he said. “All of the work I did in the offseason, to be hurt, not be able to show my stuff. To watch my teammates do run drills, one-on-ones, some of my favorite things.”
Getting Dotson first-team reps can’t come soon enough. The Steelers kick off their 2021 season Sunday, Sept. 12, in Buffalo versus the Bills.