Steelers see injuries as chance to discover new standouts
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No matter what happens, we’re giving you one year of football stability.
Villanueva flipped that year on the practice squad into a starting role when Kelvin Beachum got hurt, then into a $24 million contract in the summer of 2017.
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“Some teams view players as come in, come out,” Villanueva said. “Some teams actually develop and give a lot of chances. That actually gave me so much peace of mind. You press a little less.”
The “next man up” mantra permeates every NFL locker room, but the Steelers (7-4-1) believe their faith in every player minimizes the damage from big injuries. The latest subject cases are fifth-round rookie Jaylen Samuels and eight-year veteran Stevan Ridley, who will split time at running back while James Conner nurses an ankle sprain.