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Did Joey Porter Jr. Get Injured on Dirty Hit?



Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr.
Steelers CB Joey Porter Jr. walks off against the Buffalo Bills, Jan. 15, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr. suffered a possible concussion and did not return after taking a cheap shot from Buffalo Bills left guard Connor McGovern in Monday’s 31-17 loss. No penalty was called on the play.

Midway through the third quarter, Josh Allen completed to Stefon Diggs for a 12-yard gain on third-and-8, and as Porter was tackling Diggs, McGovern came up from behind and blasted Porter in the back.

The whiplash is what probably caused Porter to be evaluated for a concussion. McGovern is 317 pounds and launched himself at Porter’s back while running full speed. That is definitely a play that should be frowned upon by the league. It’s surprising that the officials didn’t call anything.

“It’s a dangerous play,” safety Eric Rowe said. “It really is, just on player safety. He’s just trying to make a tackle. It could be a block in the back like they’d call, I guess it’s technically not a book in the back, but still.”

It will be interesting to see if McGovern is fined by the league. It clearly is a violation of player safety.

While the officials missed the block in the back on Porter, they made sure to protect Allen on a quarterback run. Steelers inside linebacker Myles Jack was called for a late hit as Allen slid. To say the least, it was questionable call. Jack made contact with Allen as he slid, but it wasn’t anything egregious. The Bills ended up scoring a touchdown on the drive to enhance their lead to 31-17 in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers came out flat and spotted the Bills 21 points. The officials were definitely not the reason why Buffalo won, but they did get some favorable calls. On fourth-and-3 with the Steelers down 31-17 late in the fourth quarter, Pickens got completely turned around and held during his route, which ended up being an incomplete pass. Understandbly, Pickens was not happy and tossed his helmet on the sideline. The game was all but over after that.

Bills Simmons of The Ringer even thought the Steelers got hosed on some calls, but noted that the Bills were clearly the better team. He also said the block on Porter was flat-out egregious.

“Buffalo is better but the refs absolutely murdered Pitt in this game. Not to mention the 2 non calls on the Porter concussion and the Robinson concussion – the Porter play was egregious,” Simmons said.