Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Adams

Reviewing the Steelers' snap counts

December, 22, 2014
Dec 22
5:15
PM ET
Here is a look at the distribution of playing time in the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-12 win against the Kansas City Chiefs:

Offense (54)

Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger (54)

Running backs: Le'Veon Bell (50), Will Johnson (15), Dri Archer (1)

Wide receivers: Antonio Brown (53), Martavis Bryant (29), Markus Wheaton (27), Lance Moore (8), Darrius Heyward-Bey (6)

Tight ends: Heath Miller (53), Michael Palmer (10)

Offensive line: Kelvin Beachum (54), Maurkice Pouncey (54), David DeCastro (54), Marcus Gilbert (54), Ramon Foster (53), Mike Adams (15), Cody Wallace (1)

Analysis: Bryant caught just one pass for 44 yards despite playing the second-most snaps among the wideouts. The Steelers took a couple of early deep shots with Bryant but Roethlisberger did not throw the rookie's way the rest of the game. ...The five starting offensive linemen would have played every snap for the third consecutive week had Foster not had to come out of the game for a play despite the veteran left guard's protests. Foster stayed down briefly after a play and officials made him go to the sidelines for a play even though he was not hurt. ...The Steelers used Adams as a third tight end on more than a quarter of their snaps with Matt Spaeth out because of an elbow injury. ...Archer got on the field for one play after not dressing for the Steelers' previous two games. The rookie third-round pick has just 45 yards from scrimmage this season. The Chiefs showed the Steelers how to use Archer in the coming seasons with rookie running back De'Anthony Thomas, whose size and speed make him similar to Archer, caught six passes for 47 yards, as the Chiefs got him the ball in space.

Defense (66)

Defensive line: Cameron Heyward (57), Stephon Tuitt (56), Cam Thomas (17), Steve McLendon (13), Daniel McCullers (4)

Linebackers: Lawrence Timmons (66), Jason Worilds (66), James Harrison (58), Vince Williams (33), Ryan Shazier (20), Sean Spence (13), Jarvis Jones (8)

Cornerbacks: William Gay (66), Brice McCain (65), Antwon Blake (51), B.W. Webb (1)

Safeties: Will Allen (66), Mike Mitchell (66)

Analysis: Harrison added more confirmation that he is a freak of nature by playing 88 percent of the Steelers' defensive snaps even though he is 36 years old and had missed the previous two games because of a knee injury. ...Tuitt, who recorded a sack and forced a fumble against the Chiefs, is averaging 54.7 snaps in the three games he has started at left defensive end. ...The Steelers used their nickel package for the majority of the game, which explains the limited number of snaps for McLendon and Spence. ...The Steelers used a legitimate three-man rotation alongside Timmons. Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will continue to play Williams, Shazier and Spence with Timmons inside. The three will compete for snaps in practice.
PITTSBURGH -- Ramon Foster was talking about the success of the Pittsburgh Steelers' offensive line when the starting left guard suddenly took a step toward his locker.

“Let me knock on wood here,” Foster said Wednesday while doing just that after the Steelers’ first practice of the week. “We’ve got to keep everybody healthy.”

Good health up front is one of the main reasons why the Steelers’ offense has taken off and is leading the team’s push for its first playoff berth since 2011.

The Steelers lead the NFL in a handful of categories, including total offense (424.9 yards), and just as significant as the balance they have struck offensively is the stability they have enjoyed along their offensive line.

Through 14 games the Steelers have had as many starting combinations (three) on their offensive line as they had centers who started at least one game last season.

Their five starting offensive linemen have missed a total of six games, and right tackle Marcus Gilbert expects to return to the lineup Sunday against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs after missing the last three games because of a high-ankle sprain.

“It feels good to have the guys we started with in there and the guys that have come in have done a real good job too,” said Foster, who missed two games earlier this season because of an ankle injury. “It’s time to make a run and we understand that too. We’ve always said depending on our health as an o-line is how far we’ll go.”

No player epitomizes how different the offensive line is this season because of good fortune and health than center Maurkice Pouncey.

Pouncey tore his ACL early in the 2013 season opener, setting the tone for that game and yet another season in which the Steelers’ offensive line was consistently scrambled by injuries.

The fifth-year veteran has made a full recovery and the athleticism and leadership be provides in the middle of the line is why Pouncey will likely make his fourth Pro Bowl when the teams are announced next week.

“He’s the best center in the league,” Gilbert said. “For him to come out and play the way he’s been playing this year after major knee surgery it’s just unbelievable to see him move around. He holds this line together and he’s the best out there.”

Pouncey, Glbert, right guard David DeCastro and Mike Adams, who has started four games at right tackle this season, were all first- and second-round draft picks by the Steelers from 2010-12.

The Steelers stole starting left tackle Kelvin Beachum in seventh round of the 2012 draft and Foster, who made the team as an undrafted free agent in 2009, is the elder statesman of a young group that is both talented and tighter than frost on a windshield.

“I knew what we had up front, how good we could be, how much they would gel together,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “They feed off each other and the key was just staying healthy. Knock on wood, they can keep staying healthy.”

Foster already took care of that.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting healthy as they make a push for an AFC North title and a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

 Coach Mike Tomlin said it looks “positive” that outside linebacker James Harrison, right tackle Marcus Gilbert and cornerback Ike Taylor play Sunday against the visiting Kansas City Chiefs.

Gilbert has missed the past three games because of ankle and knee injuries while Harrison has been out the past two weeks because of a knee injury.

Taylor did not play in the Steelers’ 27-20 win over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday because of shoulder and forearm injuries.

“We’ll work with those guys and evaluate as we prepare.” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.

Gilbert practiced last week and had been listed as probable for the Falcons game. The Steelers de-activated the fourth-year veteran, Tomlin said, because he simply wasn’t healthy enough to play in Atlanta.

“We’d been getting quality work from Mike Adams, who is healthy, so we decided to go with the healthy hand,” Tomlin said. “We’ll go through the same process this week.”

Two Steelers players will be monitored this week as they work through injuries.

Tight end Matt Spaeth hyperextended his elbow against the Falcons, while free safety Mike Mitchell strained his groin in the Steelers’ ninth win of the season.

If Mitchell is unable to play against the Chiefs, Will Allen will likely start at free safety, Tomlin said.

The Steelers will clinch a playoff berth if they beat the Chiefs.
ATLANTA -- The Pittsburgh Steelers won’t have to worry about Julio Jones, the NFL’s leading receiver, but they do have some injury concerns of their own Sunday when they play the Atlanta Falcons.

The Steelers, who are trying to improve to 9-5, will be without right tackle Marcus Gilbert, outside linebacker James Harrison and cornerback Ike Taylor.

Gilbert will miss his third consecutive game because of ankle and knee injuries, and the fourth-year veteran is a surprise scratch for the 1 p.m. ET game at the Georgia Dome.

Gilbert practiced last week and had been listed as probable on the Steelers’ final injury report of the week. Mike Adams will start in his place at right tackle.

Harrison had been listed as questionable after he was only able to practice on a limited basis last week. He will miss his second consecutive game because of a knee injury.

Taylor is also out as expected after the 12th-year veteran did not practice last week because of shoulder and forearm injuries.

The Steelers’ four healthy scratches Sunday are rookie running back Dri Archer, wide receiver Justin Brown, quarterback Landry Jones and defensive end Clifton Geathers.

The Falcons' Jones, who leads the NFL with 1,428 receiving yards, had been listed as questionable on the Falcons’ final injury report of the week because of a hip injury. The Falcons will also be without starting safety William Moore, who hurt his ankle last Monday night in Green Bay.
PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will continue to put a patchwork defense on the field Sunday when they visit the Cincinnati Bengals.

Starting outside linebacker James Harrison is doubtful for the 1 p.m. ET game after hurting his knee last Sunday. With Harrison expected to miss his first game since re-signing with the Steelers in September, the Steelers will likely go with a rotation of Arthur Moats and Jarvis Jones at right outside linebacker.

Harrison
Harrison
Jones is still on the injured reserve/designated to return list, but the Steelers are expected to activate the second-year man from that list, something that would probably happen Saturday.

Jones has been out since dislocating his right wrist in a Sept. 21 win at Carolina, but defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said Thursday there is a "good chance" that Jones plays against the Bengals.

The Steelers will be without a starter on the other side of the ball as right tackle Marcus Gilbert has been ruled out for Sunday because of an ankle injury. Gilbert, who said he is also dealing with a knee injury, will miss his second consecutive game and third one this season.

Mike Adams will start in his place at right tackle.

All of the other players on the Steelers’ final injury report of the week are listed as probable for the first of two games they will play against the AFC North-leading Bengals this month. That includes linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle), nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder), and cornerback Cortez Allen (thumb).

The Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict, their top linebacker, as he has been ruled out for Sunday because of a knee injury.
PITTSBURGH – Steve McLendon practiced Wednesday and the Pittsburgh Steelers' starting nose tackle is optimistic he will be able to play Sunday in Cincinnati.

McLendon has missed the last two games – and four games total – because of a nagging shoulder injury. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said McLendon has to regain strength in his injured shoulder before he is cleared to play again.

McLendon said he plans to practice Thursday after taking part in drills Wednesday.

“I felt good at practice,” the fifth-year veteran said. “It felt good to be at practice.”

Also participating fully in the Steelers’ first practice of the week were linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle) and cornerbacks Cortez Allen (thumb), Brice McCain (hamstring) and Ike Taylor (shoulder).

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) did not practice because of injuries and strong safety Troy Polamalu was out held out drills because of an illness.

Gilbert, who didn’t play in the Steelers’ 35-32 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, said he got some work in individual drills Wednesday. Gilbert is cautiously optimistic that he will play Sunday even though he said he is also working through a knee injury.

“Tomorrow hopefully there will be some [practice] reps and Friday get more reps and Saturday see where we are,” Gilbert said.

Practice took an interesting turn when newly signed defensive end Clifton Geathers got into a fight with several of the Steelers’ offensive linemen.

”He was probably working his butt off in his mind, but my story is that we just played (90) snaps last game. There is no sense in going that hard in practice,” starting left guard Ramon Foster said. “I saw him push one of our guys to the ground and I lost it.”


Center Maurkice Pouncey and tackle Mike Adams jumped into the fray before the two, as well as Foster, were separated from Geathers.

“Just doing my job,” Geathers said after practice. “It’s all good. We’ve got an understanding; it’s over with.”
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert did not practice for the second consecutive day making it likely that Mike Adams starts in his place Sunday against the visiting New Orleans Saints.

Gilbert has not practiced since leaving drills Wednesday after colliding with left guard Ramon Foster. The fourth-year veteran is listed as questionable on the Steelers’ final injury report of the week along with rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier.

Shazier, who has missed the past two games because of a high-ankle sprain, practiced on Friday and is likely to dress for the 1 p.m. ET game against the Saints barring a setback.

Nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) and cornerback Cortez Allen (thumb) have been ruled out for the game.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu (knee) and cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm) are listed as probable for Sunday and are expected to play.

Polamalu has missed the past two games because of a sprained knee. Taylor has missed eight games since breaking his forearm in a Sept. 21 win at Carolina.

Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said of Taylor's anticipated return, "We're a better team when he's in there."
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert did not practice Thursday because of an ankle injury, putting his status for Sunday in question.

Gilbert left practice Wednesday after colliding with left guard Ramon Foster. If the fourth-year veteran is unable to play against the visiting New Orleans Saints, Mike Adams will start at right tackle.

Strong safety Troy Polamalu did not practice as he was given another veteran's day off. Polamalu is expected to play against the Saints even though he has missed the last two games because of a sprained knee.

Linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle), nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) and cornerback Cortez Allen (thumb) were limited in drills.

Marcus Gilbert set to return, start

October, 28, 2014
Oct 28
1:15
PM ET
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers right tackle Marcus Gilbert is scheduled to practice on Wednesday after passing a series of concussion tests.

Barring a setback Gilbert will start Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens, coach Mike Tomlin said.

Gilbert
Gilbert did not play in the Steelers’ 51-34 win against the Indianapolis Colts. Mike Adams started at right tackle in his absence. The offensive line did not allow a sack against the Colts, and Tomlin singled out the play of Adams at the beginning of his weekly news conference.

But Tomlin did not waver later in saying Gilbert will start against the Ravens if he is healthy.

Tomlin said starting nose tackle Steve McLendon has a good chance of playing Sunday night after missing the last two games because of a shoulder injury. Safety Shamarko Thomas is expected to return after missing the last three games because of a hamstring injury.

Ross Ventrone, who replaced Thomas on special teams, is the only Steelers player who has been ruled out for the 8:30 p.m. ET game against the Ravens on Sunday.

Ventrone went down in the Colts game with a hamstring injury, and Tomlin said Thomas will take his place on special teams.

As far as the bruised psyche of cornerback Cortez Allen, Tomlin said he still has confidence in the fourth-year veteran.

Allen lost his starting job last week and against the Colts he was replaced at nickel back by Antwon Blake after giving up a pair of touchdown receptions.

Tomlin said Allen will compete with Blake for the nickel back spot this week in practice.

“He’s got to lick his wounds and roll his sleeves up and come back to work this week,” Tomlin said of Allen. “We’ll watch him closely and expect him to do it and answer the bell that comes with putting bad stuff on tape. I would imagine that Baltimore’s going to work to attack him and he better work to defend himself.”

Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers

October, 27, 2014
Oct 27
9:00
AM ET
PITTSBURGH -- Have a lot of good stuff coming today recapping the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

We’ll start the day off with the Steelers’ report card:

Roethlisberger
QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger owned the game from the start and turned Andrew Luck into a footnote even though the Colts quarterback threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns. The worst thing Roethlisberger did was try a pooch punt late in the second quarter that the Colts blocked. Grade: A+

RUNNING BACKS: The Steelers averaged just 3.7 yards per carry but they ran the ball well enough while protecting their lead in the fourth quarter. Le’Veon Bell had 148 rushing and receiving yards combined. LeGarrette Blount lost a fumble near the end zone, which knocks this mark down a bit: Grade: B-

RECEIVERS: Nine different players caught a pass and Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown and tight end Heath Miller each went over 100 yards receiving. Brown was unstoppable and he got plenty of help from Miller, Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton: Grade: A-

Adams
OFFENSIVE LINE: The Colts had registered 20 sacks in their previous four games. They didn’t sack Roethlisberger one time. Mike Adams played well in place of the injured Marcus Gilbert at right tackle, and the line helped the Steelers possess the ball for almost 40 minutes, an astounding number since the Colts had led the NFL in time of possession entering the game. Grade: A

DEFENSIVE LINE: The Colts averaged 6.3 yards per carry but they only ran the ball 10 times after falling behind early. None of the linemen recorded a sack or a quarterback hit but they helped the Steelers put consistent pressure on Luck: Grade: B

LINEBACKERS: Jason Worilds led the Steelers with three quarterback hits and James Harrison notched his first sacks since coming out of retirement. Vince Williams recorded six tackles while sharing time with Ryan Shazier at left inside linebacker and Lawrence Timmons had a pair of quarterback hits. The Colts' tight ends didn’t do much in the passing game aside from Dwayne Allen’s 21-yard touchdown catch. Grade: B+

Gay
SECONDARY: Cornerbacks William Gay and Antwon Blake intercepted Luck and Gay’s pick-six gave the Steelers an early 21-3 lead. Blake replaced Cortez Allen as the nickel back after the Colts repeatedly picked on the struggling Allen. Strong safety Troy Polamalu tied Gay and Williams with a team-high six tackles. The eight-time Pro Bowler also recorded his first sack of the season. Grade: C

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blount replaced Dri Archer as the primary kickoff returner but he managed just 15 yards on his only return. The kick coverage teams were decent and the Steelers drew a key offside penalty that allowed them to take Shaun Suisham’s 30-yard field goal off the board and score a touchdown. Grade: C+

COACHING: Mike Tomlin challenged the offense last week to keep pace with Luck and the high-powered Colts. The Steelers did that and more, responding to their head coach while winning back-to-back games for the first time this season. They attacked the Colts on offense and defense and set the tone for the game with their aggressive mindset on both sides of the ball. Grade: A
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will start today against the Indianapolis Colts after missing the last four games with a sprained knee.

Shazier has been listed as probable on Pittsburgh's final injury of the week and his return should help the Steelers with tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener a prominent part of the Colts’ passing game.

The Steelers will be without one of the starters on their offensive line against the Colts, who are tied for third in the NFL with 21 sacks.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert has been deactivated after suffering a concussion last Monday night in the Steelers’ 30-23 win over the Houston Texans. Mike Adams will make his first start of the season in place of Adams.

Joining Gilbert on the Steelers’ inactives list because of injuries are nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder), cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm) and safety Shamarko Thomas (hamstring).

Wide receiver Justin Brown, cornerback B.W. Webb and quarterback Landry Jones are the Steelers’ healthy scratches.

The Colts are without starting wide receiver Reggie Wayne (elbow) and Hakeem Nicks will start in his place. Running back Trent Richardson (hamstring) will play against the Steelers but the third-year man will be limited.

Ahmad Bradshaw will start in place of Richardson.
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is likely to return to action on Sunday after missing the last four games because of a sprained knee.

Shazier is listed as probable for the Steelers’ 4:25 p.m. ET game against the visiting Indianapolis Colts on the team’s final injury report of the week.

Shazier
The Steelers will probably be without a starter on the offensive side of the ball as right tackle Marcus Gilbert is listed as doubtful after suffering a concussion last Monday night. Mike Adams will start his first game this season if Gilbert is unable to play against the Colts.

The Steelers have ruled out safety Shamarko Thomas (hamstring), nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) and cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm) for Sunday.

The Colts have ruled out starting wide receiver Reggie Wayne (elbow) for their first game in Pittsburgh since 2008 while running back Trent Richardson (hamstring) is questionable.

Here are my projected healthy scratches for the Steelers with the assumption that Gilbert won’t play against the Colts: wide receiver Justin Brown, quarterback Landry Jones and cornerback B.W. Webb.
PITTSBURGH -- Linebacker Ryan Shazier is likely to return Sunday for the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing the last four games because of a sprained knee.

Shazier ran on the Heinz Field turf Monday night prior to the Steelers’ 30-23 win over the Houston Texans. The Steelers also took a look at safety Shamarko Thomas, who has been out with a hamstring injury, prior to the game before deactivating both players.

“At the 11th hour we decided to use some other people,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “We expect both guys to be extremely close (to returning).”

Tomlin seemed less sure about starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

The fourth-year veteran left the win over the Texans in the second quarter with a concussion, and he has a short week to pass the battery of tests that will be required for Gilbert to play Sunday against the visiting Indianapolis Colts.

Mike Adams will start at right tackle if Gilbert is not cleared to play against the Colts, who will bring a five-game winning streak to Heinz Field and are tied for third in the NFL with 21 sacks.

Adams played extensively Monday night for the first time this season, and Tomlin was pleased with how the 2012 second-round draft pick held up against the Texans’ front seven and All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt in particular.

“I thought he did an admirable job. Obviously, it’s not easy going in in the manner in which he did, some of the things we had to do from a game plan standpoint, the movement of J.J. Watt and how they employ their defense,” Tomlin said. “But aside from the technical things and the assignment things, I just thought he played with great energy and finished. He had a good look in his eye. Great night for him and we needed him to step up.”

Grading the Pittsburgh Steelers

October, 21, 2014
Oct 21
12:45
PM ET

Here are the Pittsburgh Steelers' marks after a 30-23 win against the Houston Texans.

QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger overcame a slow start to complete 23 of 33 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns. A third scoring pass was taken away by a questionable reversal of a touchdown on the field. Roethlisberger is 6-0 on "Monday Night Football" games at Heinz Field. Grade: B+

RUNNING BACKS: The Steelers didn't do much on the ground, averaging just 3.0 yards per carry. Le'Veon Bell managed just 57 rushing yards but a 43-yard catch and run in the second quarter jump-started the slumbering Steelers. Bell's superb all-around play loomed large in the come-from-behind win. Grade: B-

RECEIVERS: A lot to like here. Antonio Brown continues to dominate. Rookie Martavis Bryant showed he could be the deep threat the Steelers need to complement Brown. Darrius Heyward-Bey made a critical third-down catch in traffic. No catches, however, for the disappearing Markus Wheaton and just one for tight end Heath Miller. Grade: B

OFFENSIVE LINE: The Steelers had to adjust after losing starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert in the second quarter to a concussion. Mike Adams, Gilbert's replacement, played well enough against All-Pro defensive end J.J. Watt. And the line held up when it had to despite not opening many running lanes and not consistently giving Roethlisberger enough time to throw. Grade: C

DEFENSIVE LINE: Texans running back Arian Foster gashed the Steelers for 73 rushing yards in the first quarter but didn't do much on the ground after that. Defensive end Brett Keisel made two huge plays during the frenzied sequence in which the Steelers turned a 13-0 deficit into a 24-13 lead. Grade: B-

LINEBACKERS: Jason Worilds played his best game of the season and his fumble recovery late in the second quarter led to the touchdown that gave the Steelers a lead they would not relinquish. Lawrence Timmons was a beast, registering 12 tackles and a sack despite vomiting during the game. The Steelers still aren't getting enough pressure on the quarterback from their outside linebackers but they are getting better. Grade: B+

DEFENSIVE BACKS: The Steelers were shaky in coverage and when Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had time to throw he usually hit an open man. Strong safety Troy Polamalu got caught out of position on an early 33-yard run by Foster but he later recovered a fumble after free safety Mike Mitchell ripped the ball out of Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins' arms. That turned out to be a huge play as the Steelers needed a turnover in the worst way at that point of the fourth quarter. Grade: C-

SPECIAL TEAMS: The kick coverage teams were superb, Shaun Suisham was perfect on three field goal attempts and punter Brad Wing continues to get better. The Steelers need more out of rookie Dri Archer on kickoff returns. Allowing a successful fake punt to the Texans when the Steelers should have been on high-alert for one knocks this grade down. Grade: B+

COACHING: Mike Tomlin should have played to win and gone for it on fourth and inches in the third quarter when the Steelers had the Texans on their heels. It's amazing how much smarter defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is when his unit produces timely turnovers. Ditto for offensive coordinator Todd Haley when his players execute. Grade: B.
PITTSBURGH -- Observed and heard in the Pittsburgh Steelers' locker room after a 30-23 win over the Houston Texans Monday night at Heinz Field.
  • Timmons
    Linebacker Lawrence Timmons starred, registering a game-high 12 tackles as well as a sack. The eighth-year veteran also turned into an Internet sensation as he was leading one of the Steelers' better defensive efforts of the season. Timmons vomited several times during the game -- video of it quickly made its way to the internet -- though he said he wasn't sick afterward. Timmons said his stomach problems first started after Texans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick inadvertently kicked him in the stomach. He later vomited after over-hydrating to replace the fluids he had lost after Fitzpatrick kicked him. "Just a little bloated," Timmons said, "but I'm good now."
  • The Steelers scored 24 unanswered points with three minutes left in the second quarter to turn a 13-point deficit into an 11-point halftime lead. Coach Mike Tomlin said the play that led to that barrage of points happened when the Steelers, down 13-0, were facing third-and-10 from their own 14-yard line. Le'Veon Bell caught a short pass over the middle and turned it into a 43-yard catch and run. The Steelers' longest play of the season allowed them to flip the field and get on the scoreboard after a 44-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham. "They were in man-to-man. He won versus a linebacker," Tomlin said of Bell's 43-yard catch. "I think that provided the type of emotion that the group needed."
  • A short week won't help right tackle Marcus Gilbert as he tries to come back from a concussion. Gilbert left the second quarter and did not return. The fourth-year veteran will have to pass a battery of tests before he is cleared to play Sunday against the visiting Indianapolis Colts. Gilbert sustained the only injury of note against the Texans, Tomlin said. Mike Adams replaced Gilbert and played his first extended snaps of the season. The Steelers almost had to replace their starting left tackle, too, during the game. Kelvin Beachum went down with a shoulder injury late in the third quarter but he didn't have to miss any snaps because of the change in quarters. "It was touchy there for awhile," Tomlin said. "We were about to see (center Maurkice Pouncey) at left tackle."

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