PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped their second straight game to start the 2019 season on Sunday, losing 28-26 to the Seattle Seahawks to fall to 0-2 on the young campaign.
That might not be the worst news.
Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the game in the second quarter with an injury to his right, throwing elbow, and starting running back James Conner left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.
Missing two of its top playmakers, the Steelers’ offense still had a better than it did in the season opener against New England.
Conner scored from 1-yard out in the first quarter to give the Steelers an early lead. Two Chris Boswell field goals helped keep the pace and Rudolph hit Vance McDonald from eight yards out in the fourth quarter to pull the Steelers back to within two. Rudolph was intercepted on the two-point conversion attempt.
But Seattle was also able to find paydirt. Russell Wilson hit tight end Will Dissly for a 14-yard score on the opening drive of the second quarter. Those two connected once again in the third quarter to capitalize on a short field after an interception when Rudolph’s pass went through the hands of Donte Moncrief.
After the Steelers’ missed conversion, a pair of misplays by safety Terrell Edmunds allowed Seattle to extend its lead. He was called for defensive pass interference on a critical third down and then was beaten to the corner by Seattle rookie DK Metcalf for a touchdown.
Mike Hilton kept the Steelers in the game by forcing the second fumble of the game by Seattle running back Ben Carson. Devin Bush recovered and returned it to the 3-yard line and Rudolph hit McDonald for the first multi-score game of his career.
But the Steelers weren’t able to re-gain possession, as Chris Carson converted on a crucial 4th and 1 in Pittsburgh territory to allow the Seahawks to run the clock out.
The Steelers fell to 0-2 and will travel to San Francisco next week.
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.
Not the way we wanted the season to end but I am thankful to have been a part of this amazing ride! The Highsmith Family is proud to wear the Black & Gold and we look forward to more success in the future! Please pray for Alex as he gets an MRI tomorrow on his ankle! #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/JJA4PpZpvx
— Sam Highsmith (@SHighsmithClan) January 11, 2021
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.
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.
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.
The Browns IS THE BROWNS!! 🌚
— Jedrick Wills Jr.®️++💕 (@JWills73) January 11, 2021
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.”