The Pittsburgh Steelers have been without their starting right tackle for over a year now. Zach Banner won the starting right tackle spot out of training camp in 2020, but only played one half of a game before tearing his ACL. It’s been a long road to recovery, and one that has now dragged on for longer than everyone including Banner expected.
I said I wanted to be back by Week 1 and I wasn’t. It wasn’t me, it wasn’t coaches. It’s my body.”
As we know Banner played a series against the Detroit Lions in the Steelers third preseason game, but didn’t even travel with the team to their final one in Carolina. Banner called it a ‘set back’ today. He of course was placed on injured reserve prior to week 1, and had to miss at least 3 games. He is eligible to come off of IR currently, and has 13 more days to do so or he would have to sit out the entire season.
I had a really good day today and I have to watch what I say to you [meaning reporters]. What I said was simple: I want to play. It is the coaches pulling the leash. I am not making it up or not leaning on them, I am just telling you the truth. I want to play. I am ready to play.”
The Steelers can use him. Like they could’ve used him weeks ago, but it sounds like the Steelers coaches want to make sure he’s 100% ready to go from his set back.
“I have to be reliable. Every single one of those 53 roster spots mean something,” Banner said. I’m used to being Mr. Reliable. I just am. And I feel like I’m letting the team down.”
If the Steelers plan to activate Banner they will have to do so by 4pm on Saturday.