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Steelers Gameday

FINAL: Carolina Panthers 25, Steelers 19

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FOURTH QUARTER

0:59 Steelers kicker Matthew Wright hits a 42-yarder that ought to cap the scoring.

4:32 Steelers leave a back wide open out of the backfield in zone coverage for a touchdown. P.J. Locke tried to make a desperation stop, but was driven into the end zone.

Carolina went for two and got it after Taylor Heinicke escaped the pressure with his feet and found an open man.

6:44 For the second straight week, Zach Gentry has a target go the other way for an interception. This wasn’t a great throw by Hodges, but someone of Gentry’s size shouldn’t be having the ball ripped out of his arms.

8:30 Carolina finds paydirt with Jordan Scarlett on an underneath route from eight yards out. Tegray Scales took a roughing the passer penalty earlier in the drive and missed a tackle on the score.

THIRD QUARTER

0:17: Robert Spillane destroys the back on a blitz and gets the sack. Every linebacker on the fringe has made a splash play.

4:43: Marcelis Branch with an interception.

6:06: An active night for Christian Kuntz. He subbed in as the second-team long snapper and made a tackle in kick coverage.

9:25 Not a great second half for the second-string offensive line. It’s an open question as to how many linemen the Steelers will keep.

The versatility of B.J. Finney, Matt Feiler and Chukwuma Okorafor mean the Steelers probably don’t need a ninth man. Hard to make a case for one given the performance tonight. Getting beat in pass protection and minimal push in the running game.

11:50 Henry Mondeaux having an excellent game. He and Tuzar Skipper combine for a sack. All four outside linebackers now on the board.

15:00 Devlin Hodges starts the second half at quarterback, and he’s promptly dropped with for sack.

Rookie Derwin Gray was beaten by Marquis Haynes, who strip sacked Hodges. Jerald Hawkins recovered the fumble.

HALFTIME STATS

Mason Rudolph 7 for 11, 125 yards, touchdown
Will Grier 10 for 15, 175 yards, touchdown, interception

Benny Snell 4 carries, 12 yards
Alex Armah 2 carries, 8 yards

Johnny Holton 3 catches, 86 yards, touchdown
DeAndrew White 4 catches, 94 yards

SECOND QUARTER

0:09 Rudolph and Holton take advantage of the turnover. Straight go route down the right side and Rudolph dropped it in perfectly.

That’s Rudolph’s fourth touchdown of the preseason. Dobbs had none.

Wright misses the extra point left. Not a great night for the rookie kicker.

0:23 Tuzar Skipper with his second special teams tackle. Outside linebacker decision has not gotten any easier.

0:29 The Steelers’ drive stalls, but Matthew Wright connects from 49 yards out. He’s two of three on the night.

1:02 Rudolph connects with Johnny Holton for 44 yards deep down the seam. Holton is on the fringe of the roster, helping his cause with that catch.

1:14 The tough preseason for rookie corner Justin Layne continues. Will Grier found former track star Aldrick Robinson deep down the right side for a 34-yard touchdown.

Layne left the field with an apparent injury after the play.

6:36 Mason Rudolph takes over for Josh Dobbs at quarterback. Final line for the starter: 3 for 5 for 25 yards and one carry for 11 yards. Two of his three drives went three-and-out.

7:19 Marcelis Branch with a big hit. The Robert Morris alum has been quiet so far this preseason. He’ll need more of that tonight.

12:45 Carolina rookie kicker Joey Slye just nailed a 59-yarder that would’ve been good from 65. With Graham Geno around, someone will be getting a kicker upgrade after the Panthers make their cuts.

13:03 Sutton Smith makes three outside linebackers to record a sack — everyone but Tuzar Skipper, who just missed one. So not a lot of separation so far tonight.

FIRST QUARTER

0:00: Christian Kuntz worked inside to sack Will Grier. More pressure from Henry Mondeau, who has had a nice preseason. A couple of guys hoping for a practice squad spot.

4:38: Jay Elliott just scored a 95-yard defensive touchdown for the Steelers. Who? A 27-year-old linebacker from Toledo that the Steelers signed off the street last week. Yep, it’s preseason Week 4.

Sack, fumble, scoop and score all by Elliott, who has NFL experience with the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. Matthew Wright extra point is good.

10:07: Starting offense:

QB Josh Dobbs

RB Benny Snell
WR Johnny Holton
WR James Washington
TE Zach Gentry
TE Kevin Rader

LT Chukwuma Okorafor
LG B.J. Finney
C Patrick Morris
RG Fred Johnson
RT Zach Banner

10:09: Backup linebackers need to make special teams plays. Ulysees Gilbert just blocked a field goal. That’ll do. His roster spot seems safer and safer.

14:55: Starting defense:

LDE Tyson Alualu
NT Dan McCullers
RDE Isaiah Buggs

LOLB Jay Elliott
LILB Devin Bush
RILB Tyler Matakevich
ROLB Tuzar Skipper

LCB Artie Burns
SS Marcus Allen
FS Kam Kelly
RCB Cam Sutton

GAMEDAY INFO

Thursday, August 29, 7:00 p.m.
Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

SN Coverage: Alan Saunders

TV/Radio: KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh) and NFL Network (Nationally), Steelers Radio Network (102.5 WDVE-FM)

PGH WEATHER NOW FORECAST

Clear skies, 80 degrees at kickoff.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR

• The backup quarterback battle will continue to rage, with Josh Dobbs getting a last shot at the starting role. Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges are both expected to play.

• Backup linebacker is another hot spot. Tuzar Skipper, Ulysess Gilbert, Sutton Smith and Robert Spillane look like they’re fighting for one or two spots and should play most of the game.

• A couple of wide receivers that are probably on the outside looking in right now should get some chances to make plays. Include Tevin Jones, Trey Griffey, Johnny Holton and Diontae Spencer in that group.

• There are still some spots to be won on the offensive line, with Jerald Hawkins as the fifth tackle and Fred Johnson and Derwin Gray as the fourth and fifth guards all in the mix for one or two spots.

INJURY UPDATES

OUT: OLB Ola Adeniyi  (knee) and Anthony Chickillo (chest), CB Joe Haden (foot contusion).

STEELERS NOW COVERAGE THIS WEEK

Steelers Players to Watch in Preseason Week 4

Identifying Steeles Practice Squad Options

Steelers Waive Injured CB Brian Allen; Claim CB Jhavonte Dean from Cleveland

Josh Dobbs to Start for Steelers vs. Carolina

Steelers Sights and Sounds: Last Shot

Winners and Losers from Steelers’ Preseason Week 3

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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