Sean Davis again misses practice, stage setting for Kameron Kelly to start NFL debut for Steelers
The first injury report of the Pittsburgh Steelers season was brief. But it could lead to quite the storyline for their regular-season opener.
Starting free safety Sean Davis did not participate in Wednesday’s practice because of an ankle injury suffered late in training camp. Although there are still two practices between now and Sunday, Kameron Kelly is in line to start and play virtually the entire game on defense.
That would mean Kelly, who was playing in the Alliance of American Football less than six months ago, would be making his NFL debut against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
“I mean, I’ve got butterflies right now,” Kelly said Wednesday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “But after that initial contact (in the game) and after my first hits (on the field), it’ll be gone.”
Sean Davis did not practice todayhttps://t.co/Y6ILLBpEsn
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) September 2, 2019
Kelly confirmed he took first-team reps for most of practice. That’s not surprising because he has taken first-team reps frequently from the first organized team activity session in May after his signing the month prior. Davis has had at least three injuries that have limited his practice time.
Kelly also said slot cornerback Mike Hilton rotated in at safety. But barring someone moving out of position, Jordan Dangerfield would be the only other option at safety if Davis does not play.
Quite the potential baptism by fire for the former undrafted free agent whose only prior NFL experience was training camp with the Dallas Cowboys in 2018.
Does Kelly’s meteoric rise feel all the more real now that it’s a game week against a future Hall of Famer?
“For me, it’s been real the whole time,” Kelly said. “A lot of people kind of come out here and kind of go through the motions, but since Day 1, I have had to come here and be on my P’s and Q’s.”
Teammates have noticed.
“Everybody is confident in him,” Hilton said. “He has shown that all offseason. He can go get the ball for us. That’s something as a defense that we thrive on. Everybody on defense is confident in him if he starts. If not, he’ll be ready if ‘SD’ can’t go the whole game.”
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .