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Steelers Gameday

Avery Williams Set to Make Steelers Debut; Tyson Alualu, Mike Hilton Out vs. Cowboys

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Steelers defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and cornerback Mike Hilton will miss Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, but newest Steelers player Avery Williamson will be dressed.

Alualu (knee) had previously been ruled out with a knee injury suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 8, while Hilton (shoulder) will miss his third straight game after being injury against Cleveland in Week 6.

Alualu is expected to be replaced by Isaiah Buggs in the starting lineup, with Henry Mondeaux replacing Buggs as the backup defensive end. Rookie Carlos Davis is dressed for the first time this season as the sixth defensive lineman.

Cam Sutton will once again replace Hilton as the team’s top slot cornerback, with Justin Layne filling in for Sutton when the team needs to play four corners. Safety Antoine Brooks has been elevated from the practice squad to the active roster for the second straight week and will once again be dressed.

Williamson did not practice this week after being acquired by the Steelers in a trade with the New York Jets on Sunday due to the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol, but he will be dressed and eligible to play. Head coach Mike Tomlin cited Williamson’s familiarity with the Steelers’ scheme from the time he spent in Tennessee under Dick LeBeau.

Fullback Derek Watt is not dressed. Watt was not listed on the team’s injury report, but has been dealing with a hamstring issue for several weeks. It’s unclear if he is scratched due to a flare-up of the injury or for other reasons.

Tight end Vance McDonald, who missed practice Friday and was listed as questionable with an illness, is dressed.

Outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott was called up from the practice squad on Saturday and will help to fill in for Watt’s special teams role. Mondeaux has played fullback at times while Watt has been out.

The Steelers’ other inactive players are quarterback Josh Dobbs, tight end Zach Gentry and offensive lineman Derwin Gray.

The team released offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski and running back Trey Edmunds late this week to make room for Elliott and Williamson.

Steelers Gameday

Alex Highsmith Needs MRI after Ankle Injury Suffered vs. Browns

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PITTSBURGH — Steelers rookie linebacker Alex Highsmith suffered an ankle injury that will require an MRI in Sunday’s playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Highsmith left the game in the first half and was seen limping on the Pittsburgh sideline. He made an attempt to return to the game, but was unable to continue playing and did not see the field at all in the second half.

In-game, the Steelers announced that Highsmith was doubtful to return with an ankle injury. After the fact, head coach Mike Tomlin said that Highsmith suffered a high ankle sprain. Highsmith’s father posted on Twitter early on Monday morning that Highsmith will require an MRI on his injured ankle.

Given that Highsmith was able to walk and even run in short bursts after the injury, it does not seem likely that it will impact his offseason training plans.

The team’s third-round draft pick out of Charlotte, Highsmith was thrust into a starting role after starting outside linebacker Bud Dupree suffered  an ACL injury that required surgery.

On the season, Highsmith played in 16 regular season game and made five starts. He finished with 48 tackles, five for a loss, six quarterback hits, one interception and one pass defended.

With Dupree set to become an unrestricted free agent and unlikely to return, Highsmith should be expected to retain his starting role in 2021.

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Steelers

Mike Tomlin Doesn’t Regret Punt, Will Talk to Ben Roethlisberger About Future

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answers questions from the media following his team’s shocking defeat at the hands of the Browns in the playoffs. Tomlin explained why he decided to punt on a 4th and 1 in the 4th quarter while trailing by multiple scores. He also touched on the timeline for when he will talk to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about his future with the team.

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Steelers Gameday

JuJu Smith-Schuster Says He Doesn’t Regret ‘Browns Is the Browns’ Comment

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PITTSBURGH — It was repeated so often in the five days between when JuJu Smith-Schuster said the phrase on Wednesday to Sunday night’s game at Heinz Field, that it nearly became the No. 1 talking point coming into the game.

“The Browns is the Browns.”

Before the game, after the game and probably during the game, many of the Browns made it clear that they had taken exception to Smith-Schuster’s characterization of the team.

Smith-Schuster said after the game that he had no regrets about what he said.

“You know, I don’t regret what I said,” Smith-Schuster said. “I said, ‘The Browns is the Browns.’ They came out and they played a hell of a game. You know, there’s been games where we feel we lose them and today wasn’t our night and hopefully the same Browns will show up next week against the same opponent and go out and do the same thing they did tonight and have a hell of a game.”

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