With the NFL suspending Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert for the next four games, the right tackle stands to lose nearly $1 million during his time away from the team. Things couldn’t get much worse, right?
On top of the suspension, Gilbert was fined by the league for a facemask infraction which happened early in the Week-11 win over the Titans on Thursday Night Football.
“Adding to his rough week, Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert was fined $9,115 for his first-quarter facemask infraction during last week's win against Tennessee.”
Talk about rubbing salt in the open wound.
Time to check in on the other news surrounding the Black-and-gold outside the walls of BTSC:
The Steelers have performed well in night games—especially at home—in recent years. And perhaps no Steelers player has shined more at night than receiver Antonio Brown.
Brown has more touchdown receptions in late games (22) then he does in 1 p.m. kickoffs (21) despite playing more than twice as many early games (59) as those in prime-time (29). Brown's ratios for yards per game, catches per game and yards per catch also rise in late vs. early games, albeit not by as high a rate.
“There's something about prime-time,” Brown said, “when all your peers are watching you on that big stage and the lights come out in Heinz Field with the fans and their (Terrible Towels). It's a special environment.”
- With JuJu Smith-Schuster out, Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers among those prepared for more responsibility
While this season has appeared rather easy for rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster, the past year-plus has been filled with adversity for fellow Steelers’ receivers Eli Rogers and Martavis Bryant.
With Smith-Schuster (hamstring injury) ruled out for Sunday's game against Green Bay, Bryant and Rogers figure to have more opportunities to reclaim some of their lost luster.
Each recognizes and respects the opportunity for an increased role. But neither is making it out to be bigger than what it is, and neither is lacking in confidence.
“I don't even see the (recent lack of) playing-time thing (as a concern), because I'm gonna play,” Rogers said. “I'm an athlete. World-class.”
Asked if Smith-Schuster's absence would serve as a stage to show he's back, Bryant bristled.
“I've been back. It's been a whole (season), so ... I have been through a lot, so the things that I am going through now is not my darkest time I have been through. So this is easy.”
During the week of his 21st birthday, Smith-Schuster didn’t practice after notching 16 catches for 337 yards and two touchdowns in the past three games.
In that same span, Bryant has five catches for 72 yards, no touchdowns and a one-game de facto suspension for a social-media post critical of Smith-Schuster. Rogers over the past three games has one catch for two yards.
Ben Roethlisberger has a problem with people who extrapolated his own offseason musings about retirement into the idea he doesn’t care as much about the game.
And even though the topic began with his own words and then a dash of “maybe I don’t have it anymore,” after a five-pick game in a loss to the Jaguars, he disputes that now.
Speaking from the platform of his weekly paid radio appearance on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger largely took issue with his critics, saying they “don’t know what they are talking about.”
“In a way it’s like, ‘Wait a second, you’re going to take a shot at me and you don’t know me?'” Roethlisberger said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “I’m going to go out here and bust my butt every day and be limping with bruises and put my body and my family through this and not care? You’re absolutely nuts.”