The Pittsburgh Steelers already suffered a big loss when Bud Dupree went down with a torn ACL against the Baltimore Ravens. Now the Steelers will go into Sunday’s matchup against the Buffalo Bills without three starters.
Earlier this week, the Steelers announced that they were placing linebacker Vince Williams on the Reserve/Covid-19 list. On Friday, they listed both cornerback Joe Haden and linebacker Robert Spillane out for the matchup as well.
According to the Steelers injury report, neither player practiced at all this week. Spillane didn’t practice due to a knee injury and Haden has yet to clear the concussion protocol. Both suffered injuries against the Washington Football Team. The rest of the players who were on the injury report are a full go for Sunday night’s matchup.
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Facing a Depleted Roster for the Second Time
When the Bills and the Steelers met in Pittsburgh last season on Sunday Night Football, the black and gold were without Super Bowl winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Instead, they had third-string quarterback Devlin “Duck” Hodges in the game, who threw for 202 yards and four interceptions as Buffalo earned their 10th victory of the season, 17-10.
Now, the Bills will take on another depleted Steelers roster. Pittsburgh comes into the matchup with one of the best defenses in the NFL as they have only allowed 300.5 yards per game, which is the third-lowest total in the NFL. They also have the highest turnover differential (+11) in the league and have forced a league-high 23 turnovers, 16 interceptions and seven fumbles, this season.
Although they have lost players like Dupree, Haden, Spillane, and Williams, the Steelers still have plenty of playmakers that can change a game and quarterback Josh Allen is well aware of them.
“The defense that they’ve got, obviously, the pass rush with the two guys T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward,” Allen said during a video conference call earlier this week. “They lost Dupree who is a really good player too and you never like to see anybody go down and he was a very tough competitor that we played last year. And in the back end they got some smart guys, Minkah is able to fly around. They’re a really good defense, and they’re fun to watch.”
The Steelers have excelled in defending the pass and the run equally well too. They’ve only allowed opposing quarterbacks to throw for 199.8 yards per game, which is the second-lowest total in the league, and they’ve only allowed 100.7 rushing yards per game.
Getting Other Names Back in the Mix
Although they lost a few key players, the Steelers are also getting a few names back as they get set to take on the Bills. After being placed on the Reserve/Covid-19 list in recent weeks, both center Maurkice Pouncey and running back James Conner were activated earlier this week and will return to play on Sunday.
The Steelers haven’t been able to get the running game going this season, but Conner has rushed for 645 yards and five touchdowns this season but has only averaged 4.4 yards per carry. Benny Snell Jr. has the second-most rushing yards being Conner and has rushed for 260 yards and three touchdowns this season.