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Steelers Daily Links: Ryan Shazier on Damar Hamlin, Jets QB White Limited



Steelers ILB Ryan Shazier

Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier opened up about his reaction to Damar Hamlin’s situation and New York Jets quarterback Mike White was limited in practice on Thursday ahead of their must-win for the Steelers Week 18 game.

🏈 Kenny Pickett’s 92.4 Pro Football Focus grade against the Baltimore Ravens was the best in a single game by a Steelers quarterback since Week 13 of 2015 (Ben Roethlisberger, 93.4 against the Indianapolis Colts).

🏈 Minkah Fitzpatrick has six interceptions this season, which is tied for the league lead. It’s also a new career-high for Fitzpatrick, who should be nominated as first-team All-Pro for the third time in his career.

🏈 Najee Harris led the league in snap share last season at a hefty 85% clip. The Steelers talked all offseason about being cautious of his workload, and they have accomplished that. Harris has a 65% snap share this season, which ranks 13th in the NFL.

🏈 Najee Harris has the second-most rushing yards (308) after contact since Week 10, per Pro Football Reference. After dealing with a nagging foot injury earlier in the year, Harris has really taken off since the bye week.

🏈 Kenny Pickett is the rookie passing leader this season with 2,209 yards. Seventh-round pick Brock Purdy of the San Francisco 49ers ranks second with 1,196 yards. Purdy is 4-0 as a starter and has played in just six games. Purdy is the fourth rookie quarterback to start his career 4-0 since starts were first tracked in 1950. The last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft joined Ben Roethlisberger (2004), Phil Simms (1979) and Mike Kruczek (1976) on that list.

🏈 Entering Week 18, Kenny Pickett has the fourth-best odds (+1800) to win Offensive Rookie of the Year, according to BetMGM. Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker is the favorite at -110.

🏈 On the Don’t Call It a Comeback podcast, Ryan Shazier discussed the scary Damar Hamlin incident on Monday night in Cincinnati and the eerie similarities to his own on-field injury in 2017.

🏈 Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated reported that the work of Buffalo Bills assistant athletic trainer Denny Kellington in administering CPR to Damar Hamlin on Monday was absolutely vital.

🏈 Browns defensive end Jadeveon Clowney told that he’s “95% sure” he won’t be back next year and that he needs to be around somebody who “believes in him.” The root cause of Clowney’s unhappiness with the Browns is centered around the team removing him from favorable matchups at various points throughout the season, while Myles Garrett is matched up on lesser offensive lineman to showcase their star defensive end. “You’re all trying to get somebody into the Hall of Fame when all that matters is winning,” Clowney said. “Everybody got here for a reason, and we can all make plays. I know I am.”

🏈 Even with the possibility of New York Jets quarterback Mike White (ribs) not playing on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic personally would be surprised if Zach Wilson played this week based on everything head coach Robert Saleh and Mike LaFleur have said. If that’s the case, Joe Flacco will get the start against Miami.

🏈 The Kansas Chiefs hosted kicker Matthew Wright for a tryout on Thursday with Harrison Butker questionable for Week 18 due to a back injury. Wright made 12 of 14 field goals and was 7 of 7 on extra points with the Steelers from Week 9-12 when Chris Boswell was on injured reserve.

🏈 Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of Bill Cowher’s retirement as the Steelers head coach. Cowher, who is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was the Steelers head coach from 1992-2006.

🏈 Thursday was also the 20th anniversary of the Steelers’ 36-33 win over the Browns in the 2002 AFC wild-card game at Heinz Field. The Steelers rallied from 17 points down in the second half (and 33-21 in the final three minutes) to beat Cleveland. It was also the game that started the tradition of “Renegade.”

🎂 Happy birthday 48th birthday to Steelers Hall of Honor linebacker James Farrior, born this day in 1975 in Ettrick, Virginia.

📅 On this date in 1996, the Steelers beat the Buffalo Bills, 40-21 in the AFC Divisional Round to advance to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game. Norm Johnson kicked four field goals and fullback John L. Williams and receiver Ernie Holmes scored as the Steelers built an 26-7 lead. Buffalo chipped away with a Tony Cline touchdown catch from backup quarterback Alex Van Pelt and then a Thurman Thomas score from starter Jim Kelly to cut the Pittsburgh lead to five. But Bam Morris iced the game for Pittsburgh with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.

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🏈 The Steelers have practice at 10:30 a.m. — Alan Saunders, Nick Farabaugh


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