Lost In the Shuffle

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Everything seemed aligned for Chukwuma Okorafor in his rookie season.

With a slew of injuries along the offensive line which included former Pittsburgh Steelers Marcus Gilbert and current tackle Matt Feiler, Okorafor was inserted. That season, he played in 13 games, making three starts at right tackle and two at tight end. By all accounts, the future of the Steelers aging offensive line, seemed very much to include Okorafor as a potential starter.

A difficult preseason in 2019, was exacerbated by the addition of Zach Banner, and the improved availability of Matt Feiler. To make matters worse for Okorafor, Feiler proved to be stabilizing presence at right tackle, and Banner a well-used asset. All in all, Okorafor was relegated to one start in week 10 at left guard against the Los Angeles Rams, due to an injury to newly-retired lineman, Ramon Foster.

The addition of decorated Kevin Dotson in this year's draft, and veteran guard Stefen Wisniewski, Okorafor's status on the roster is in limbo. Though he is listed as the team's second left tackle on the Steelers depth chart, current starter Alejandro Villanueva has played in every game since his first season in 2015.

As versatile Okorafor may be, finding a spot for him along the offensive line has proven to be more difficult than expected. For him, a strong preseason performance will be vital in ensuring that he still has a future with the team in some capacity.

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