On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers throttled the Cleveland Browns 38-7 at Heinz Field to move to 5-0, but it came at a potentially significant cost, as standout inside linebacker Devin Bush went down with a non-contact knee injury in the second quarter. At first Bush was listed as “questionable” to return, but after halftime he was downgraded to “out.”
After the game, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media and said the former first-round draft pick appears to have “a significant knee injury” and that the injury is still being evaluated.
There were also two other Steelers injuries of note during the Browns game, one to slot cornerback Mike Hilton, who Tomlin said “has a shoulder injury that needs to be evaluated.”
In addition, center Maurkice Pouncey left the game early with a foot injury.
“He was able to get through the majority of the game with it, but we pulled him at the end as you saw him come off.”
Robert Spillane Replaced Devin Bush at Inside Linebacker
Asked about Bush’s replacement during his postgame press conference, Tomlin said, “[Robert] Spillane more than answered the bell but we have a great deal of confidence in him. He’s a capable guy. Guys that make plays on special teams, that’s usually a precursor to them making plays on defense. Since we brought him up the middle of last year he’s been a consistent performer for us so I don’t think any of us are surprised with quality play from him.
As to who the team might turn to if Bush is out of the lineup long term, Tomlin said, “If Devin is down for a while those will be called to step up; Uly Gilbert will be among them, Marcus Allen will be among them. We’ll put together a formula that will allow us to function in the interim, believe it.”
Ulysees Gilbert III was one of Pittsburgh’s six inactive players Sunday, and Allen returned from a foot injury this past week.
Ben Roethlisberger Remains Perfect Vs. Browns at Heinz Field
With the win, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upped his career record to 24-2-1 versus the Browns, including a perfect 13-0 at Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger completed 14 of 22 passes for 162 yards and one touchdown (100.9 rating) before giving way to backup Mason Rudolph, who was 1 of 1 for six yards.
The Steelers are 5-0 for the first time since 1978, a season that ended with a 35-31 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII.
With the defeat, the Browns fell to 4-2, including a 1-2 mark in the ultra-competitive AFC North. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 30-28 to move to 5-1. The Indianapolis Colts vanquished the Cincinnati Bengals, 31-27. The Bengals are in last place in the division at 1-4-1.
Next week the Steelers visit the undefeated Tennessee Titans, who are coming off a 42-36 win over the Houston Texans. The Titans are 5-0 for the second time in franchise history (2008). The Titans game was originally scheduled to be played during Week 4, but was rescheduled for Week 7 in the wake of a COVID-19 outbreak among Titans players, coaches and personnel.
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