Carlos Davis stayed up late last Sunday night after the Steelers’ 35-13 defeat to Philadelphia, replaying the best play of his young career over and over in his head.
“I couldn’t even really process it in the moment,” Davis said, referring to his second-quarter sack of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. “It was more like one o’clock last night when it hit me.”
The third-year defensive tackle out of Nebraska stunted with Cam Heyward on a third-and-15 with less than a minute remaining before the intermission. Davis fell down after crashing into Philly guard Isaac Seumalo, freeing Heyward to get around center Jason Kelce and flush the passer.
“We penetrated and worked together and he saw the quarterback step up and Cam was coming,” said Davis, Pittsburgh’s seventh-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. “I split off him, got up and just made a play.”
On Monday, after it had set in for him, he was able to describe his exhilaration.
“Man, it was awesome,” Davis said. “It was surreal, really a dream. It’s what you play the game for.”
With Larry Ogunjobi out and DeMarvin Leal on the injured reserve, Davis was elevated from the practice squad for the contest. He’d been biding his time in preparation for the opportunity.
“You’ve just got to be detailed every day and really work,” he said. “Put your time in and wait to make a play … I’m just happy to get an opportunity whenever my time is. I just want to make plays for the Steelers. That’s all.”
He dealt with a knee injury for most of the previous campaign, landing on the IR for part of it.
“It was rough,” Davis said. “It was tough on me last year coming off an injury. Really, I just had to get right and get my knee right and get back to playing football.”