The Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t just losers in Minneapolis vs. the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday Night Football in Week 14, they were doing so in embarrassing fashion. The team surrendered almost 170 yards on the ground in the first half, and the offense had more lowlights than highlights almost until the fourth quarter.
To add insult to the loss was how the team performed both as a team and individual basis. One player who certainly made matters worse was second year receiver Chase Claypool. In the first half Claypool was benched after yet another personal foul penalty, missed a key block on a third down Najee Harris run, but saved his best work for the second half.
With the Steelers trailing by 8 points, and no timeouts, Pittsburgh was pushing the ball down the field. After Claypool had a clutch fourth down reception for the first down, he did this (courtesy of Brooke Pryor of ESPN):
This would seem to suggest the message to Claypool didn’t get through pic.twitter.com/uVbVv26GzE— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 10, 2021
After the play, Claypool gets up and does a first down pose. At that time, veteran lineman Trai Turner rushes over to try and get the ball back to the middle of the field so they can set the ball and run another play. There is a mix up between players and officials, and the ball seems to bounce away from the scrum and Pat Freiermuth has to recover the ball and get it to the official.
Overall, it wasted valuable time on the clock.
Shockingly, Claypool stood in front of media after the game to answer questions, and he was obviously peppered about the personal foul, but more so the end of the game. Instead of assuming what Claypool was doing, here is what he said, via Dejan Kovacevic of DKPittsburghSports:
I just asked Chase Claypool about that ill-advised first-down pose on the final drive: pic.twitter.com/eRnoVKaP9O— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) December 10, 2021
Is that answer sufficient for you, the fan? While it doesn’t matter, you have to wonder what the organization’s response will be as they now look at the mini bye after a Thursday night game. Will Claypool get benched? That has yet to be seen, but as his stat line indicates from the Vikings game, the team can use Claypool on the field.
Let us know what you think about Claypool, and his performance on Thursday night, in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they now prepare for the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 at Heinz Field.