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Connor Heyward Comes Through in Clutch for Steelers



Steelers Connor Heyward

PITTSBURGH — Connor Heyward was not expected to have a big role in the Steelers’ offense this season. Up to this point, that has held true. However, Pat Freiermuth’s concussion opened up opportunities for the rookie to seize as he stepped onto the field against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Heyward made one massive catch. That was a 45-yard catch on a free play that he broke up the seam for the longest pass play of the Steelers season. It was a broken play where Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David clearly wanted to call a timeout, but could not before the ball was snapped. So, on a free play, Heyward snuck behind the defense and was off to the races.

Big brother Cam Heyward was able to see what his little brother was doing on the play. Postgame, he joked about Heyward getting his cardio up and running that in for a touchdown rather than just ripping off a massive 45-yard gain. For Connor’s first big NFL moment, Cam was proud of what his brother was able to do and bring to the team.

“Man, I was excited,” Cam Heyward said. “It was a little bit unexpected. I’m glad he was ready for the moment. But I needed him to score on that. But it was a great catch. He’s got to get in better shape.”

Connor Heyward earned praise not just from his big brother, but his quarterbacks as well. Mitch Trubisky saw the heads-up play from Heyward to find space and settle into it. It was a moment that was not too big for the Michigan State product in a game where he played over half the offensive snaps on the team.

“They really weren’t set, and he was free down the seam, so he made a heads-up play,” Trubisky said. “He just turned and getting ready for the ball and made a big play for the team.”

Regardless of when Freiermuth returns, Heyward acclimated himself with a massive play in a key time. If he continues to do that, Heyward can earn a bigger share of the snaps moving forward even when Freiermuth returns.

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