Steelers players know Finney can fill Foster void

Steelers OL depth to be tested in preseason

Josh Rowntree
July 29, 2018 - 6:36 pm
Steelers OL BJ Finney runs during 2018 training camp

Josh Rowntree

Just days into training camp and one of the Steelers’ biggest areas of strength has had its depth tested.

Offensive guard Ramon Foster went down with a knee injury Saturday. Multiple reports indicate that the injury will keep him out of the rest of camp and the preseason, but may heal in time for Foster to play in the opening week of the regular season. 

“It’s always a tough moment when someone goes down, especially in practice,” tackle Alejandro Villanueva said Sunday. “But, I think we got really good news yesterday and so I’m just praying that Ramon can recover quickly and be back on the field.”

Third-year interior lineman B.J. Finney took reps with the first team Sunday at St. Vincent college. 

“It’s the next man up for right now. It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to work against (defensive linemen) Cam (Heyward) and (Stephon)Tuitt and some of the other guys. So, that’s what it is. It’s an opportunity.”

Finney is no stranger to this role, having started seven games in his career, including four last season when Foster missed time with injury.

“BJ’s got experience, which is key in this league,” guard David DeCastro said. “To say you’ve done it and played some good snaps for us is key. So, he’ll be a good placeholder for Ramon while he’s gone.”

“He’s competent, he’s played in huge games for us,” Villanueva added. “He’s obviously experienced. He’s been here, he knows the playbook, it’s not new to him. So, obviously everyone has high expectations on him performing and making sure the offense doesn’t slow down.”

An undrafted free agent from Kansas State, Finney can play either guard position or center, versatility that is much needed on any offensive line. 

“I don’t want the other guys to suffer from me coming in,” Finney said. “So, my mentality is to always be sure that I’m not going to bring everybody down or hold anyone up.”

Pittsburgh is already dealing with an injury at the tackle position, as Jerald Hawkins will miss the entire season with a torn quad muscle. So, while Foster missing time may not be a good thing, the prognosis seems optimistic.

“It just happens every year,” DeCastro said of the injuries. “It sucks. But, it’s just part of the brutality of this game. So, there’s no point in sitting here, crying about it. I mean, you feel bad and you try to lift Ramon up as much as you can, but that’s life, man. You’ve just got to move on.”

Hear what Finney had to say below.