PITTSBURGH — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin put kick returner and wide receiver Gunner Olszewski on notice during a press conference on Tuesday. Olszewski had two questionable plays. The first was a fumble, but Olszewski suffered a concussion. However, before that, Olszewski tiptoed along the sideline on a kickoff that certainly would have gone out of bounds, costing the Steelers 25 yards of field position.
Tomlin was asked about that play and if he asked Olszewski what he was doing. It turns out that Tomlin has not, for a very simple reason — he does not need to hear the excuses from Olszewski about an apparent mistake.
“I haven’t,” Tomlin said. “Sometimes I don’t ask questions because I don’t want excuses.”
Tomlin said that Olszewski is being evaluated for a concussion and is in the protocol for a short week against the Raiders. With the injury, the team is down to five healthy wide receivers, as Diontae Johnson went to injured reserve. Olszewski was injured on the Steelers’ final offensive play of the first quarter when he caught a pass from Kenny Pickett and was hit in the chin and chest by Browns cornerback Denzel Ward. He sought treatment in the medical tent on the Pittsburgh sideline but was quickly taken to the Steelers locker room.
He had five catches for 53 yards and eight carries for 39 yards for Pittsburgh last season, but was not dressed in the opener this year.
With Calvin Austin III already in the starting lineup, Miles Boykin, who primarily plays special teams, was the only backup wide receiver remaining available. Dez Fitzpatrick was a healthy scratch but is now in line to play in Las Vegas if Olszewski can not play with the concussion. After Olszewski went out, Austin took over all return duties, and it seems that would be the plan moving forward.