The Steelers signed Jon Bostic, who had 97 tackles (57 solo) for the Colts last season, but it's Matakevich who stole the show during offseason workouts. Matakevich played with an edge while showing off his football instincts, and that combination makes him the likely replacement for Ryan Shazier (spine). The 2016 seventh-round pick has never played more than 60 defensive snaps in a season, however, so a solid preseason will be needed to solidify his role.
Matakevich underwent surgery in January to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Even with Ryan Shazier (neck) ruled out for the entire 2018 season, a healthy Matakevich isn't considered a realistic candidate to step into the first-string lineup since the Steelers signed veteran Jon Bostic to step in next to incumbent starter Vince Williams.
Pittsburgh may not have a clear grasp on Matakevich's timetable until after the procedure is completed, but it will more than likely prevent the linebacker from being a full participant during the team's offseason program. The 25-year-old didn't see his responsibilities increase much in his second NFL season, as he appeared in 15 games but managed just 23 tackles (18 solo) in a backup role.
Matakevich, who recorded two tackles (both solo) in the Week 17 win over the Browns, finished the 2017 season with 23 tackles (18 solo) in 15 games.
The second-year linebacker produced similar numbers as his rookie season, in which he recorded 20 tackles (16 solo) in 16 games, mostly on special teams play. Matakevich is young (25), cost-effective at just over $600,000 per year, and under contract until 2020, so he should be back with Pittsburgh next season, although he shouldn't be on anyone's fantasy radar.
Matakevich (shoulder) was a full participant in practice Thursday.
Matakevich missed Week 14's game due to a shoulder injury but was able to log 17 special team snaps last Sunday against the Patriots. With another week under his belt, look for the linebacker to potentially see some defensive snaps Monday night in Houston.
|12||11/25/18||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|14||12/9/18||@ OAK||4:25 pm|
|16||12/23/18||@ NO||4:25 pm|
|Year||Team||G||No.||Yds||Lg||Avg||Blk||I20||TB||Downed||No||Ret Yds||TD||Net Avg|