Steelers TE Vance McDonald has retired. It's a surprising decision from the 30-year-old, although he has dealt with a bunch of injuries throughout his 8 NFL seasons. After a career-best 50-610-4 line in 2018, McDonald totaled just 53 catches over the past 2 years, including 15 in 2020.
The Steelers signed QB Dwayne Haskins, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Haskins flamed out on and off the field in Washington but is certainly worth a flier for Pittsburgh. He was the 15th overall pick of the 2019 draft after chucking for 4,831 yards and 50 scores at his final season at Ohio State and is still just 23 years old. QB Ben Roethlisberger is tentatively expected back for 2021, but the Steelers need to find their QB of the future.
The Steelers have promoted QB coach Matt Canada to OC. The 48-year-old had been in that previous role for just 1 season, spending the rest of his coaching career in the college ranks. Canada had 9 different OC stints, most recently with LSU in 2017 and Maryland in 2018. Those teams ranked 76th and 69th, respectively, in points per game.
NFL Network's Mike Garafolo hears that there's "optimism" within the Steelers organization that QB Ben Roethlisberger will be back for the 2021 season. "Optimism" is an interesting word choice. Roethlisberger had a solid start to 2020 but averaged just 6.0 yards per attempt with 15 TDs and 10 INTs over the final 7 games, including the playoff loss to Cleveland. He turns 39 in March.
The Steelers are parting ways with OC Randy Fichtner, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports. Fichtner has been with the team since 2007, taking over as OC in 2018. The Steelers offense struggled mightily down the stretch this season, averaging just 22.1 points and 347 yards over the final 7 games. There were also whispers of a bit of a power struggle between Fichtner and QB Ben Roethlisberger. We'll see who the Steelers tab as their next OC -- and if Roethlisberger returns for 2021.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee) returned to a full practice on Friday and isn't listed on the final injury report. It looks like Thursday was just a rest day. JuJu should be ready for his usual role vs. the Browns on Sunday night.
Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was added to the injury report on Thursday with a knee. He didn't practice. We'll get another update on his status for Sunday's game vs. the Browns tomorrow.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron has been activated from the COVID list. So he'll be back for Sunday night's Wild Card game vs. Cleveland's 31st-ranked TE defense.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin hinted Tuesday that he's considering mixing in QB Josh Dobbs during the playoffs. Dobbs played 9 snaps in the regular-season finale, completing 4 of 5 passes and running twice for 20 yards. Perhaps the Steelers use him in short-yardage and goal-line situations like the Colts have used QB Jacoby Brissett. It's a slight concern for QB Ben Roethlisberger's fantasy outlook.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron has been placed on the COVID list. He's out for Sunday's game against the Browns and will likely miss Pittsburgh's postseason opener next week if he tested positive for the virus. We'll update his status when we know more.
Update: Ebron is believed to be a close contact of CB Joe Haden, who tested positive, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano. So, barring a positive test, Ebron will be eligible to return next weekend.
The Steelers have ruled S Terrell Edmunds out with a shoulder injury for Sunday's finale against the Browns. He joins DE Cameron Heyward and OLB T.J. Watt as missing starters, with the other 2 reportedly set to be rested. We'll see whether any other defensive starters land among the game-day inactives.
The Steelers will rest OLB T.J. Watt and DE Cameron Heyward for Sunday's finale against the Browns, according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. This is why you don't play season-long fantasy into Week 17: IDP Edition.
Steelers HC Mike Tomlin announced on Tuesday that QB Mason Rudolph will start this weekend's finale vs. the Browns. Pittsburgh can't fall past the #3 seed and can only climb to #2 if the Bills lose at home to the Dolphins. So QB Ben Roethlisberger, whose arm has looked tired lately, will get the week off. Tomlin said "the vast majority of guys will be playing" vs. Cleveland, but we wouldn't be surprised if guys like James Conner, Diontae Johnson and JuJu Smith-Schuster at least had their snaps limited.
Washington has released QB Dwayne Haskins. He's had issues off the field and been a mess on it, averaging just 6.0 yards per attempt and tossing 5 TDs vs. 7 INTs this season. We'll see where the 15th overall pick of the 2019 draft lands. Washington is expecting to get QB Alex Smith (calf) back for Sunday night's win-and-in game vs. the Eagles.
Steelers K Chris Boswell (groin) is out for today's game vs. the Colts. Matthew Wright will kick for Pittsburgh in this one but is a weak fantasy play.
Steelers RB James Conner is returning from his quad injury for today's game vs. the Colts, but it sounds like Benny Snell might remain the lead back. "The overall arrow of the trajectory of his play has been an upward one, and he has merited more playing time, and he'll get more playing time because of it," HC Mike Tomlin said this week. Conner has fallen short of 3.2 yards per carry in 4 of his last 5, while Snell has fared pretty well in a few starts in place of Conner. This is a backfield to try to avoid in Week 16 fantasy lineups, but Snell looks like the better bet of the 2.
Steelers K Chris Boswell (groin) is listed as questionable for this weekend's game vs. the Colts. He was added to the injury report and limited on Thursday -- and then sidelined on Friday. Look elsewhere for your Week 16 fantasy kicker.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron (back) isn’t listed on the final injury report after putting in full practices on Thursday and Friday. He’ll play against the Colts this weekend. But a struggling Pittsburgh passing game and Indianapolis’ 5th-ranked TE defense make Ebron a shaky fantasy option.
Steelers RB James Conner (quad) doesn't appear on the final injury report. That returns him to the lineup for a tough matchup with the Colts. Conner hasn't topped 13 carries since Week 8 and could still cede work to Benny Snell this week. We'd prefer to avoid the Pittsburgh backfield, if possible.
Steelers TE Eric Ebron (back) returned to a full practice on Thursday. So he's on track to play vs. the Colts this weekend. Pittsburgh's offensive struggles and the matchup vs. the #5 defense in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs leave Ebron as a shaky TE1.
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