The Pittsburgh Steelers had high hopes for their final quarter of the season. After coming away with a win on the road against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 14, the team followed it up with a prime time dud against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.
The loss to the Bills didn’t just end a winning streak, but solidified the Bills as the 5th seed in the AFC Playoff Picture. But the Steelers still controlled their own destiny to obtain the 6th seed. All they had to do was win the final two games of the season, and their ticket would be punched.
Week 16 provided a trip to the New York Jets, and the team fell flat 16-10 at Metlife Stadium, losing control of their postseason lives. To make matters worse, the team was dealt a crippling blow of injuries during the loss.
After the game, head coach Mike Tomlin gave a general synopsis of some of the injuries, and started with Pro Bowl center, Maurkic Pouncey. Pouncey left the game with a knee injury, and was unable to return. Tomlin said Pouncey’s injury is being further evaluated.
Another key injury occurred to quarterback Mason Rudolph. The quarterback injured his shoulder after coming in relief of Devlin Hodges, and was unable to continue. Tomlin wasn’t specific with the extent of the injury, but it was reported Rudolph left the stadium with his arm in a sling.
Mason Rudolph exiting the stadium with his arm in a sling— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) December 22, 2019
The other notable injury was to running back James Conner. Conner had an injury to his quad, and although he remained on the sideline in hopes of returning, the injury resulted in him being ruled out of the game. This was Conner’s second game back in the lineup after missing the previous three games with a shoulder injury.
The Steelers offense has been crippled with injuries this season, and the aforementioned trio just compound those issues heading into a must-win Week 17 game vs. the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
At this point, no one has confidence in the Steelers offense to score enough points to even beat the Raven’s backups. Either way, stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the regular season finale next Sunday.