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Tomlin says Boykin will be given 'strong consideration' to play against 49ers

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did not offer much explanation Tuesday why cornerback Brandon Boykin did not play on defense in New England, other than to say, "We chose to play other people."

The Steelers traded a conditional fifth-round pick to acquire Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles when it was determined rookie Senquez Golson would miss the season, but he wasn't used against the Patriots even when the defense used extra defensive backs.

When Boykin was acquired in training camp, the Steelers had high hopes he would be the team's nickel back and could even contend for a starting position. But he played sparingly with the first unit in preseason and has been passed on the depth chart by Antwon Blake.

Asked if Boykin would play this week against the San Francisco 49ers, Tomlin said, "We'll see. He's a guy who's under strong consideration."

Boykin isn't the only defensive back who has slipped on the depth chart. Safety Shamarko Thomas, who was being counted on to replace Troy Polamalu, was replaced in the starting lineup by Will Allen. Cornerback Cortez Allen was supplanted by Blake.

About Thomas, Tomlin said, "He's got to be good above the neck."


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