The Pittsburgh Steelers vanquished the Philadelphia Eagles 38-29 at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon, winning the game largely on the strength of the four touchdowns scored by rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool.
Claypool’s record-setting performance—which included seven catches for 110 yards and three touchdown receptions, not to mention a two-yard rushing touchdown—overshadowed a pair of injuries to the team’s best, most experienced offensive linemen.
Right Guard David DeCastro
Late in the first quarter, Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro went to the locker room with what has been reported as an abdominal injury and was unable to return.
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said DeCastro’s injury “is being evaluated. His availability is in question [for next week] but I will have more information for you guys on Tuesday.”
Continuing on with his injury report, Tomlin said the rest of the injuries were “bumps and bruises associated with play.”
Center Maurkice Pouncey
But then Tomlin noted that center Maurkice Pouncey “was [also] unable to continue” [coming out near the end of the game], adding that “he is being evaluated right now and I don’t have a lot of information on his foot.”
Pouncey was replaced by backup center J.C. Hassenauer while Kevin Dotson subbed in for DeCastro at right guard.
Wide Receiver Diontae Johnson
Last but not least, “Diontae Johnson took a direct blow to the back,” said Tomlin, though he sounded optimistic that his second-year wide receiver would return in time for next week’s home game against the Cleveland Browns.
Johnson had one catch for minus-two yards before leaving the contest. He appeared to suffer the back injury during a punt return.
The Steelers were a relatively healthy team coming into the Eagles game. Aside from right tackle Zach Banner, who is out for the season after tearing his ACL in the opener against the New York Giants, the only two injured players were fullback Derek Watt (hamstring) and linebacker/safety Marcus Allen (foot).
Fans Return to Heinz Field
As you probably noticed, the Steelers did have a smattering of fans at Heinz Field on Sunday, with upwards of 5,500 people in attendance. It was the first game this year in which the Steelers played in front of an in-person audience.
This fan’s homemade sign pretty much sums up the sentiment in the stadium on Sunday.
There was also this pair of newlyweds, who can best be described as the matrimonial equivalent of the Steagles.
Pittsburgh’s next game is scheduled for the Sunday October 18 against the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. ET.
After that the team is scheduled to visit Nashville on Sunday October 25 for the rescheduled game against the Tennessee Titans, though the Titans are still in the midst of their COVID-19 outbreak.
Meanwhile, the NFL and NFLPA are investigating the Titans for ‘failure to follow’ the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The NFL has threatened to hand down harsh new penalties to teams with violations that lead to positive tests and changes to the NFL schedule.
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