PSU’s Marcus Allen making NFL debut for Steelers vs. Chargers, James Washington inactive
Penn State alum Marcus Allen, a rookie fifth-round pick, made his NFL debut Sunday for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Los Angeles Chargers. On his first NFL snap, Allen nearly made a big play when he narrowly missed blocking a Chargers punt on their own goal line.
But Allen, a safety, did not play on defense in the first half. With veteran safety Morgan Burnett not playing because of a back injury, it was thought that Allen might take over Burnett’s “dime” role. The Steelers instead, though, left linebacker Vince Williams on the field in passing situations.
Burnett missed his sixth game of this season.
The next man up at dime when Burnett was previously was out was Cameron Sutton. But Sutton missed practice Friday because of personal reasons and is not active for Sunday’s game, the first he’s missed this season. Sutton was on the sidelines during the game.
Scratched for the second time this season was rookie receiver James Washington, the second-round pick who has just eight catches and was the target of criticism from Ben Roethlisberger this week after his awkward dive for a deep pass during last week’s loss at Denver.
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned to the Steelers’ lineup after missing two games because of an elbow injury, reverting L.T. Walton back to the inactive list.
Outside linebacker Bud Dupree played despite a pectoral injury that put him at about a half week’s worth of practice and left him, officially, as questionable to play.
Perhaps as insurance for Dupree, the Steelers on Saturday added edge rusher Ola Adeniyi to the active roster off of injured reserve. Adeniyi, an undrafted rookie from Toledo, had three sacks in the preseason. He came in for a second-quarter series along with fellow reserve outside linebacker Anthony Chickillo to spell Dupree and T.J. Watt.
The Steelers other inactives were rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph, offensive tackle Zach Banner and erstwhile starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert is missing his sixth straight game because of a knee injury.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.