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Steelers LB Alex Highsmith in concussion protocol

Alex Highsmith suffered a head and neck injury in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 21-18 loss on Thursday night against the New England Patriots.

Arizona Cardinals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be without a key player for the foreseeable future, according to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport.

#Steelers standout pass-rusher Alex Highsmith has entered the NFL’s concussion protocol following last night’s game, sources say. He has more time to clear before their next game with the mini-bye.

Highsmith has six sacks on the season, and has been a monster when it comes to generating pressure this season. He signed a four-year, $68 million extension in the offseason. The Steelers drafted Highsmith in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, before eventually replacing edge rusher Bud Dupree to be the other starting pass rusher opposite of T.J. Watt.

Highsmith will have some extra time to rest before having to return on Dec. 16 against the Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is scheduled for next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET. The game can be watched on NFL Network.