MINNEAPOLIS — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he benched wide receiver Chase Claypool after a first-half personal foul penalty in Thursday’s 36-28 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Claypool was called for a personal foul for retaliating against Vikings cornerback Bashaud Breeland. He also missed a blocking assignment and fumbled in the first half, though the fumble was overturned on video review.
“He sat me down for a couple of plays,” Claypool said. “I can’t make a penalty like that. … Bad penalty.”
Claypool has eight penalties on the season, the most of any NFL wide receiver, but he said the personal foul against the Vikings wasn’t related to the way he plays the game.
“I just gotta do better,” he said.
Tomlin was asked if he felt the message was received, and he was noncommittal.
“We’ll see,” he said.
Later in the game, Claypool celebrated a first down with the Steelers driving and the clock running under a minute. He likely cost the team several seconds after the ball was knocked out of his hands.
He did respond with his play, however. Claypool led the Steelers with 93 receiving yards, hauling in eight of nine targets, including an extremely difficult catch through Breeland’s pass interference for 38 yards on the game’s final drive.