Pittsburgh Steelers put guard Stefen Wisniewski on IR with pectoral injury

PITTSBURGH -- Two days after placing one starting offensive lineman on Injured Reserve, the Pittsburgh Steelers added another lineman to the list.

Guard Stefen Wisniewski, who started the first game in place of David DeCastro, was put on IR following Friday's practice. Wisniewski suffered a pectoral injury against the Giants, leaving the field one play before fellow lineman Zach Banner sustained a season-ending knee injury for which he had surgery Friday.

Neither Wisniewski nor DeCastro practiced all week and both were ruled out for Sunday's game prior to Wisniewski's addition to IR.

With the Steelers losing their first and second string right guards, 2020 fourth-round draft pick Kevin Dotson will get his first career start in just his second NFL game -- a rarity for a typically veteran-laden offensive line.

"He's naturally really strong," offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner said of Dotson. "I don't know how better to say it. He is just a naturally strong, tough-minded guy. The natural thing for him to do is get physical with somebody. Now, match the technique and fundamentals of a young player that makes his job so important and allows you to really achieve better and great successes at your position. Those are going to have to come with time. He is working hard, and he has been available. I'm excited for him to get his opportunity."

While Dotson will start at guard, the Steelers will also have a new right tackle with Chuks Okorafor starting in place of Banner against the Broncos. Okorafor and Banner battled for the starting job during camp with Banner eventually winning.

"I'm saddened for the injury," Fichtner said. "It was tough, and it was tough for Zach [Banner] because I just know how hard he worked. But that was really a competitive competition that went down to the end, and whoever we play is going to be, and we respect and know that he will do a great job for us. Chuks [Okorafor] has played in this game before against this team."

The Steelers also added some depth to the line this week in corresponding moves, promoting 2019 seventh-round pick Derwin Gray to the active roster Friday, and signing former 2016 fourth-round draft pick Jerald Hawkins off the Houston Texans' practice squad earlier in the week.

"It's neat to have Hawk [Jerald Hawkins] back," Fichtner said. "He's been in the system; he was in the system before. We used him in some of our big packages in the past. It's just unique to have him back."

None of the other players listed on the injury report throughout the week -- including James Conner, Diontae Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster -- were given injury designations for Sunday's game and are good to go.