Steelers Lineman Claps Back Over Browns Cheap Shot Allegation

Anthony Walker

Getty Images Mitch Trubisky of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles from Anthony Walker Jr. of the Cleveland Browns.

Pittsburgh Steelers lineman Chukwuma Okorafor was called out for a cheap shot on injured Cleveland Browns linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. but he doesn’t feel like he did anything wrong.

Walker went down with a knee injury in the second half against the Steelers after falling awkwardly following a block from Okorafor. As he lay on the turf face down, Okorafor jumped on Walker, who appeared to be in visible pain.

“No idea how the refs missed this obvious penalty on a defenseless and injured Anthony Walker. He carted off with a right knee injury moments later,” John Sabol of Fox 8 News tweeted. “Dirty, bush league play by Steelers’ Chukwuma Okorafor. Awful look. Smh.”

He wasn’t the only one to call out the play. Okorafor was lit up on social media but the Steelers lineman insisted after the game that he was just doing his job.

“I don’t know what happened,” Okorafor said. “I was just playing ball.”

Okorafor was flagged on the play but for being an ineligible man downfield. While offensive linemen are told to finish their blocks, Walker was zero threat to make a play with his face on the turf.

Walker Has Knee Sprain But Timeline Still Uncertain

Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announced after the game that Walker is dealing with a knee sprain but a timeline for his return to the field is still uncertain. If he’s out, it will be a huge loss for the Browns in the middle of their defense and in the locker room.

“It is tough because you know he wanted to be out there. He wants to play. He is our captain, our guy in the middle,” Browns safety John Johnson III said after the game. “An injury like that and having to be carted off, you never know what is really going on. I hope he is OK and can get back ASAP.”

With Walker out, Jacob Phillips stepped in to fill the role and had a solid game. The Steelers managed just three points in the second half and Phillips led the Browns with seven tackles in the game, adding a sack and pass defended.

“I have been very excited about Jacob throughout this past year as we have talked about. Obviously, A-Walk was starting there, but I wouldn’t call that an indictment of Jacob. I think he is a really, really good football player and works so hard at this thing,” Stefanski said. “It is a huge loss with Anthony Walker if this is a longer-term thing because we know what he brings to the football side of things, but he is a captain and he is a leader. We have our fingers crossed and definitely hoping for the best for No. 5.”

Myles Garrett: Browns Defense Took ‘Next Step’

David Njoku & Myles Garrett Postgame Press Conference vs. Steelers | Cleveland BrownsDavid Njoku & Myles Garrett address the media after the 29-17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. #PostgameHome #PressConference2022-09-23T04:56:02Z

The Browns defense needed a bounceback as a whole after what happened in Week 2 against the Jets, giving up a pair of late touchdowns to drop what looked like a surefire win. Despite a somewhat shaky first half, the Browns allowed just 308 total yards in the matchup and even added a defense score on the final play of the game to ice the 29-17 win, moving to 2-1.

“We have seen that a lot where we really come out of the second half or halftime and really shut guys down. It was just about doing it in the fourth quarter for that second half,” Browns star pass-rusher Myles Garrett said. “I think that is where we took the next step tonight where we really were on our P’s and Q’s and made sure that we did not give any leaky gains or big plays. Everybody was communicating, and there were no mistakes on the front or on the back end.”

Garrett is still in search of the franchise sack record. He is just one away from setting the mark held by Clay Matthews Jr. but was held without one for the first time this season against the Steelers.

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