One area the Steelers certainly lost was on the injury front. No, no one was lost for the season with an injury, but anytime you lose a starter it can hurt the team during their absence. Throw in the fact the Steelers now have to prepare for the Atlanta Falcons on a short week, and it makes things every more daunting.
While there Steelers injury list was not long, according to Mike Tomlin after his post-game press conference, they were significant. None more so than to starting running back Najee Harris.
Harris was having a solid day on the ground, amassing 35 yards on 10 carries for a 3.5 yard average before leaving the game. Harris was visibly “off” as he returned to the game, before being removed for the duration of the contest. The team is calling the injury an abdominal injury, and Tomlin said after the game they don’t know the extent of the injury. Nonetheless, Harris’ injury is being evaluated. The Steelers head coach said he’ll have more information on the injury during his usual Tuesday press conference.
The only other injury of note, and it wasn’t noted by Tomlin, was when NFL officials forced cornerback Levi Wallace to leave the game. This is a precautionary tactic to help players who might have suffered a head injury from returning to action. In other words, it helps protect players from themselves. Tomlin was asked about the process after the game, and he said while he doesn’t know who called for Wallace to be removed, he respects it.
The injury to Harris could be a tough pill to swallow for a team which seems to have found their identity in the ground game. Nonetheless, Benny Snell and Anthony McFarland filled in admirably in Harris’ stead.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the Atlanta Falcons on the road in Week 13.