Steelers right tackle Zach Banner has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his right knee, according to a source who spoke with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Once confirmed by a second opinion, Banner will be placed on injured reserve and sidelined for the remainder of the season.
Banner, an absolutely mammoth human being at 6’9″, 360 pounds, was selected by the Colts in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. However, the USC product didn’t make it through final cutdowns in Indianapolis, and became the highest rookie draft choice to be waived that year. Banner later hooked on with the Steelers and went on to flatten the opposition as a reserve in 2019. This year, Banner re-upped on a one-year, $1.75MM deal and won the starting right tackle job. Before the injury, he seemed destined for a big pay day in 2021.
Chukwuma Okorafor – nearly as imposing at 6’6″ and 320 pounds – will likely replace Banner in the starting lineup. Beyond that, the Steelers may survey out-of-house options for depth. After downing the Giants on Monday night, they’ll take on the Broncos in Week 2.
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