Steelers’ Chuks Okorafor unsure why he was Sunday inactive, takes it in stride
Sunday, for the first time in his NFL career, Chuks Okorafor was not activated to play during a Pittsburgh Steelers game.
The 2018 third-round pick, apparently, has been surpassed on the offensive tackle depth chart by Zach Banner.
“It is what it is,” Okorafor said Monday at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. “I can’t really be mad or upset about it. It is what it is.”
Okorafor was in uniform for all 16 games of his rookie season. He played at least a snap in 13 of them. Okorafor started the Nov. 25 game at the Denver Broncos at right tackle because of injuries to the Steelers’ top two right tackles. Okorafor also started two other games as a blocking tight end in the Steelers’ jumbo package.
The third tight-end role was Okorafor’s primary contribution in 2018 after being drafted as a raw 20-year-old from Western Michigan.
“I have no idea what’s going on,” Okorafor said before positional meetings Monday. “It’s not really my call to say what happens.”
Steelers evaluating Chuks Okorafor, other right tackles; giving Matt Feiler time at guard
— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 16, 2019
Banner politely has refused to speak with the media throughout this season.
Banner, 25, was a fourth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2017 after playing at USC as one of the nation’s most heavily recruited tackles. Banner played eight games as a rookie in 2017 but was waived three times before arriving in Pittsburgh last August while weighing more than 370 pounds.
But Banner has slimmed down considerably, and he has improved after a year under the tutelage of former offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
The Steelers, like most NFL teams, typically dress only seven offensive linemen for games.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .