PITTSBURGH — The Steelers fell to 0-2 on the 2019 season with a 28-26 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
But the bigger loss than the home-opening setback to the Steelers may have happened on the sidelines, where five Steelers players, including star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, finished the game.
Roethlisberger exited the game late in the second quarter with a right elbow injury that head coach Mike Tomlin said is still being evaluated.
Second-year backup Mason Rudolph replaced Roethlisberger on the first drive of the second half. Roethlisberger finished 8-of-15 passing for 75 yards. Rudolph was 12 for 19 for 112 yards and two touchdowns.
Tomlin did not blame his team’s loss on the absence of his star quarterback, or any other players.
“We lost a number of guys in this game, but that’s not the reason that we didn’t win this game,” he said. “We were fully capable with the guys that were on the field. We didn’t make enough plays, to be honest with you. … We’re not looking to make excuses.”
A host of Steelers stars followed Roethlisberger to the training table. Linebacker Vince Williams left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Running back James Conner, linebacker Anthony Chickillo and safety Sean Davis all left in the second half.
Conner has a knee injury and did not return to the game. He told Steelers Now that he’s not sure of the extent of his injury, but he doesn’t believe that anything is torn.
He had tough sledding early in the game, gaining 33 yards on 11 carries and three receptions for 12 yards. He punched in the Steelers’ first touchdown from 1 yard out in the second quarter. He was replaced by Jaylen Samuels, who finished with 18 yards on three carries and one catch for 13 yards.
Williams started the game at inside linebacker, and appeared to be in line to get the bulk of the reps with Seattle featuring a run-heavy attack. He was assigned the Steelers’ green-dotted radio communication helmet, which is generally reserved for a player that is expected to see a good amount of time on the field.
He left the game in the first quarter and was initially reported to be questionable before being downgraded to out. Williams finished with two tackles. He was replaced by Devin Bush, who had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
Davis injured his shoulder after a stiff-arm from Seattle wide receiver DK Metcalf in the third quarter. He briefly returned to the game before going back to the sideline. He was making his first appearance this season after missing the season opener with an ankle injury. Davis recorded five tackles and was once again replaced by first-year safety Kameron Kelly.
Tomlin said Chickillo is dealing with plantar fasciitis. He left the stadium in a walking boot on his right foot/ankle. Second-year linebacker Ola Adeniyi got the reps that Chickillo usually takes later in the game. Adeniyi had one tackle.