3 Steelers Ruled ‘Out’ Against Colts

Marcus Allen Steelers

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images Giovani Bernard of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes the ball past Marcus Allen of the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 21, 2020.

On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers downgraded placekicker Chris Boswell (groin) from questionable to out for Sunday afternoon’s game against the Indianapolis Colts. The move came as no surprise, as hours earlier the team elevated practice squad placekicker Matthew Wright to the active/inactive roster.

Meanwhile, the Steelers also ruled out linebackers Marcus Allen (stinger) and Ola Adeniyi (shoulder), both of whom had also been listed as questionable. Linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III (ankle) won’t be available on Sunday either, as he was placed on injured reserve earlier this week and isn’t eligible to return this season unless and until the team reaches a second postseason game.

Rookie running back Anthony McFarland Jr. remains questionable for the Colts game with an unspecified illness.

Indianapolis To Go Against Pittsburgh Without Its Starting Offensive Tackles

While the Colts may not have as many injured players as the Steelers, Indianapolis has already ruled out its starting left and right tackles for Sunday’s game. I’m referring to Anthony Castonzo and Braden Smith, respectively, the latter of whom is on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. That ought to be good news for Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, who will be looking to add to his case for AFC Defensive Player of the Year.

Thus far this season, Watt has 50 tackles (40 solo), with 22 tackles for loss, 40 quarterback hits, 13 sacks, seven passes defensed, one forced fumble and one interception. If Watt can get two more sacks this year, he will set a new personal best for sacks, as he had 14.5 in 2019 and 13 in 2018.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are also looking to set a new franchise record for most consecutive seasons with 50+ sacks (four). Coming into the Colts game the team is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 47. (Tampa Bay, which has played one more game, also has 47.) By way of comparison, the Tennessee Titans have the fewest sacks in the league this season with only 14.

If Pittsburgh reaches 50 this year it will become the first NFL team to record 50+ sacks in four consecutive seasons since the 1980s.

The Colts currently have a total of five rostered or practice squad players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list while the Steelers have none.

Chuks Okorafor Fined for Unnecessary Roughness

On Saturday Steelers right tackle Chuks Okorafor woke up to find his wallet $10,500 lighter. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network/NFL.com, that’s how much Okorafor was fined for pushing Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Mackensie Alexander into the Bengals bench during the second quarter of Monday night’s game.

Alexander had just intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass; then he did a little high-stepping as he strutted out of bounds at the end of his interception return. (It immediately brought to mind former Steelers safety Anthony Smith, who once high-stepped into the clutches of an irate Dick LeBeau following an interception).

Here’s the play—and push—that got Okorafor fined:

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