With the Steelers on the road and facing a team that has been under siege all year with injuries, Pittsburgh will be working towards a first-round bye against the bullish Texans. Here are five Steelers that could play major roles:
- JuJu Smith-Schuster: I compare JJSS a lot to Hines Ward, but Hines didn’t have the big-play prowess that No. 19 has shown. JuJu may be counted on to play like a No. 1 WR in the absence of Brown.
- T.J. Watt: The rookie is playing in his big bro’s house and will be counted on to provide pressure to another T.J. — Yates. He wasn’t omnipresent against New England and the Steelers need T.J. to put on a show in front of J.J.’s people.
- Vance McDonald: The former 49er is close to being Jason Witten-esque. However, his ability to stay on the field has been suspect. If Vance plays, he could make a big difference against the Texans without AB in the lineup.
- Joe Haden: Haden may return from the leg-break against Indy in November. There’s concern about rust if he does, but his services could give the Steelers’ secondary a major boost.
- Le’Veon Bell: Juice is just that. He’s the electric current that makes this engine run. With AB on the shelf, he’s the man that will carry the offense.