On Sunday the Denver Broncos suffered a painful 26-21 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, painful not only because John Elway’s club fell to 0-2, but because the team absorbed seven sacks and lost starting quarterback Drew Lock to a rotator cuff injury.
On Monday the news got worse for Broncos head coach Vic Fangio and the rest of the organization. It started when the team announced that Pro Bowl wide receiver Courtland Sutton has been lost for the season with a torn ACL suffered against the Steelers.
Then the NFL announced that it has fined Fangio $100,000—and also fined the Broncos organization $250,000—for “violating rules of wearing face coverings in the bench area” during the team’s Week 2 game at Heinz Field.
Two other NFL head coaches and their respective organizations were also fined by the league, those being Kyle Shanahan and the San Francisco 49ers & Pete Carroll and the Seattle Seahawks.
The fines did not include Sean Payton and Jon Gruden of the New Orleans Saints and Las Vegas Raiders, both of whom were (repeatedly) seen on ESPN’s broadcast of Monday night’s football game without masks, an indication that more fines could be forthcoming on Tuesday.
Did the MetLife Stadium Turf Contribute to Zach Banner’s Torn ACL?
On Monday San Francisco announced that two of its players—Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas—suffered season-ending torn ACL injuries during the team’s road game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Never mind the high ankle sprain suffered by starting quarterback Jimmy Garappolo and the knee injury incurred by running back Raheem Mostert.
“Guys seemed to be getting stuck in the ground more than regularly,” said 49ers defensive end Erik Armstead, via the San Jose Mercury News. “A bunch of our players went down. It wasn’t real fun to be a part of and see happen to your teammates.”
The criticism of the turf prompted Dale Lolley of DK Pittsburgh Sports to ask Steelers right tackle Zach Banner if he thought the MetLife Stadium turf contributed to his season-ending ACL tear, suffered a week earlier during Pittsburgh’s 26-16 win over the New York Giants.
“Banner simply told me, ‘Yup,’” reported Lolley.
Meanwhile, Armstead called it “anxiety provoking” to think about playing another game at MetLife Stadium, a fear that he and his 49ers teammates will face sooner rather than later. The Niners have remained on the East Coast this week in anticipation of Sunday’s game at MetLife against the New York Giants.
Steelers Favored Over Texans
Last weekend the Steelers won by five points but failed to cover the spread against the Broncos. According to SportsbookWire via BetMGM, the Steelers are favorites again this week, opening as a 3.5 point favorite over J.J. Watt and the visiting Houston Texans, who come off a discouraging defeat to the Baltimore Ravens.
“The Steelers are home favorites with an implied win probability of 65.40%,” notes SportswireBook.
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