LaRod Stephens-Howling's debut ends in injury

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't a great start for Stephens-Howling in his Steelers debut. His injury only tops off a dreadful performance from the Steelers' running game.

Welcome to the Steelers, LaRod. Now go get some ice.

The Steelers acquired former Cardinals running back LaRod Stephens-Howling in April, hoping to provide a charge as a passing downs back and kick returner.

His first game didn't exactly show his high-level ability in either area. But he did fit in with a growing theme in Pittsburgh.

Initially, Stephens-Howling appeared to be able to make it off the field, and was calling for a substitute. After hop-stepping a few times, he went down, and was helped off the sideline.

One positive to the situation is he was not immediately taken for an MRI, like center Maurkice Pouncey - who earlier was reported to have torn his ACL and MCL. He was on the sideline, appearing dejected, his knee wrapped in ice.

No report has given any specific status as to the extent of Stephens-Howling's injury, but considering the nearly grotesque performance from the Steelers running game - Isaac Redman in particular - and the lack of anything substantial from Felix Jones, the Steelers appear to be in quite a bit of trouble in their backfield.

Pittsburgh did not rush for a first down - something that could not have happened often in the last 30 years of the franchise. The team had 32 yards rushing, paced by Stephens-Howling's 19.

It really just couldn't have been much worse.

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