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Steelers Gameday

Josh Dobbs among Inactive Players for Steelers vs. Browns



PITTSBURGH — It appears that Mike Tomlin’s usage of Josh Dobbs as a package quarterback in the Steelers’ Week 17 loss to the Cleveland Browns was a bit of gamesmanship, as Dobbs is not dressed for the playoff rematch between the teams in Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Mason Rudolph is the only backup to Ben Roethlisberger on the depth chart. Rudolph started the Week 17 game in Cleveland, while Dobbs worked a package of plays that utilized his mobility.

Instead, the Steelers will go with the same two quarterbacks that have dressed in every other game this season.

The other healthy inactives for the Steelers are safety Antoine Brooks Jr., defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott, guard Danny Isidora and running back Anthony McFarland Jr.

Tight end Kevin Rader, who was a gameday activation from then practice squad, is dressed.

Cornerback Joe Haden is the lone Steelers regular that will miss the game. Haden remains on the COVID-19 reserve list after testing positive late last week.

For the Browns, cornerback Brian Allen, wide receiver Ja’Marcus Bradley, wide receiver Marvin Hall, defensive end Joe Jackson, safety Jovante Moffatt, tackle Alex Taylor and safety Tedric Thompson are inactive.

All seven Browns that were listed as questionable for the game — right tackle Jack Conklin (knee and illness), defensive end Myles Garrett (shoulder), cornerback Terrance Mitchell (testing protocol), wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones (concussion), defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson (neck), cornerback M.J. Stewart (calf) and right guard Wyatt Teller (ankle) are active.

Left guard Joel Bitonio, wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, cornerback Kevin Johnson and cornerback Denzel Ward remain on the Browns’ COVID-19 reserve list and will not play.

Garrett is once again the Browns’ gameday captain.

Steelers Gameday

Alex Highsmith Needs MRI after Ankle Injury Suffered vs. Browns



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



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



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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