Two Starting Wideouts in Steelers’ Concussion Protocol

Steelers wide receivers Diontae Johnson (18) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) share a moment on the sideline after Johnson’s 45-yard touchdown reception against the Miami Dolphins on October 28, 2019 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Banged up wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are added to the list of starters who have temporarily fallen victim to injuries. 

In the game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, both standouts left the game with concussions and as of Monday, were still in concussion protocol. Neither were available for interviews.

JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit. In the second quarter, 2 defenders, [former Steeler] Morgan Burnett and Greedy Williams made contact with both sides of Smith-Schuster’s helmet, on the same play, leaving him motionless on the field. He was later able to walk off the field on his own.

Smith-Schuster took to his Twitter account to thank those who were supportive following his injury:

As for Diontae Johnson, Browns safety Damarious Randall lowered his head and collided in the third quarter with Johnson after a helmet-to-helmet hit, leaving him wincing in pain. Johnson started bleeding from his ear shortly thereafter. The hit prompted an immediate ejection of Randall.

The Steelers announced the signings of two receivers, Quadree Henderson and Amara Darboh, Thursday in addition to additional roster moves.

In a statement from the Steelers:

“The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed wide receiver Deon Cain and running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. to the 53-man roster, it was announced today. To make room on the 53-man roster, the Steelers released linebacker Jayrone Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James.”



BREAKING: Suspensions, Fines Handed Down Following Steelers Browns Fight

Screenshot of the fight between the Steelers and Browns on November 14, 2019 in Cleveland. (Courtesy: FOX)

(GSM) — Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been suspended without salary for the remainder of the 2019 NFL season following an altercation with Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph. 

The incident took place in Cleveland during the Thursday night matchup with 8-seconds left to play in the game where Garrett forcibly removed Rudolph’s helmet and hit him over the head with it. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey proceeded to throw punches, striking Garrett several times prior to kicking him while on the ground.

The National Football League hit both the Steelers and Browns with stiff financial penalties and said in a statement, “The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns organizations have each been fined $250,000 and three players – Cleveland’s MYLES GARRETT and LARRY OGUNJOBI, and Pittsburgh’s MAURKICE POUNCEY – have been suspended without pay for their actions in Thursday night’s game,” The statement read. “Garrett has been suspended without pay indefinitely – at a minimum for the remainder of the regular season and postseason – and must meet with the commissioner’s office prior to a decision on his reinstatement.  He was also fined an additional amount.  Garrett violated unnecessary roughness and unsportsmanlike conduct rules, as well as fighting, removing the helmet of an opponent and using the helmet as a weapon.”

Art Rooney II, president of the Pittsburgh Steelers released a statement on the incident:

“As an organization, we are disappointed with what occurred last night near the end of our game against the Cleveland Browns. The actions of the players involved were not something that should be part of any football game. Our players, coaches and everyone in the Steelers organization understand that we must always maintain composure, no matter what happens. After a hard-fought game between two rivals, it is a shame that the game ended that way.”

The Cleveland Browns also commented publicly about what transpired Thursday night via owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam: 

“We are extremely disappointed in what transpired last evening at the end of our game. There is no place for that in football and that is not reflective of the core values we strive for as an organization. We sincerely apologize to Mason Rudolph and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Myles Garrett has been a good teammate and member of our organization and community for the last three years but his actions last night were completely unacceptable. We understand the consequences from the league for his actions.”


EDITORIAL: Dionte Johnson is Steelers’ Rising Star

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field on October 28, 2019 at Heinz field in Pittsburgh. (Clyde Harris / ClydeAllen Photography for Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The Steelers have a rising star at wide receiver.

In the absence of embattled wide receiver, Antonio Brown, rookie Dionte Johnson provides plenty of missing firepower from the Steelers’ passing game.

The Steelers have now a new rising star at wide receiver.

There is a new era, as we have all heard at nauseam, related to the void left from the injury to all-pro and future Hall of Fame Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the departures of Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell. There is no debate that there is a difference in the offense, missing this high level of offensive firepower! 

Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson celebrates with fans after scoring a 45-yard receiving touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field on October 28, 2019 at Heinz field in Pittsburgh. (Clyde Harris / ClydeAllen Photography for Golden Sky Media)

In my opinion, there is a glimmer of hope, with the emergence of Dionte Johnson. The former University of Toledo standout has shown he can be a legitimate threat, has great hands, is a solid route runner and possesses game breaking speed. Johnson has 30 catches for 363 yards with 3 touchdowns, the longest being the electrifying catch and run against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field.

Johnson is not an Antonio Brown and it is truly unfair to make the comparison. However, Johnson is an outstanding wide receiver, and in this period of transition away from the “Killer B’s” (Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger), he should be allowed to continue developing and be measured against his own standard, one that, if it continues this trajectory, will be exciting to watch and lethal for any opponent of the Steelers.


Steelers Stave off Rams in Aaron Donald’s Return to Pittsburgh

Steelers wide receiver James Washington (13) and running back Jaylen Samuels celebrate following a touchdown in the 1st quarter against the Los Angeles Rams on November 10, 2019 at Heinz Field (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Lining them up and knocking them down. 

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won 4 straight and are currently the 6th seed in the playoff race. That’s right, if the playoffs were to start today, the black-n-gold would be in the race for their 7th ring. But it’s only week 11 which means there are more left games to be played.
Speaking of games, the Los Angeles Rams made their way across country to Heinz Field Sunday to face the streaking Steelers and got off to an early start, scoring a defensive touchdown on a high snap that went over the head of quarterback Mason Rudolph. the Rams’ Donta Fowler, Jr. picked up the fumble for a score. Despite the early lead in the 1st quarter, Pittsburgh responded with a touchdown of their own late in the 1st after Rudolph connected with wideout James Washington to even the score to 7-7.
Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick returns an interception against the Los Angeles Rams to secure victory on November 10, 2019 at Heinz Field. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)
Steelers Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick continues to make clutch plays. He had two takeaways in the game, one fumble recovery for a touchdown — of course as retaliation — helping Pittsburgh rack up a defensive score of their own, and an interception at the end of the game to seal the deal. Fitzpatrick attributes his success to his teammates in addition to referencing his own ball awareness.
Final score was 17-12 in favor of the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin praising his defense moments after the win.

“We have been open about that we need turnovers. Great defenses get themselves off the field. Great defenses stand up in the face of adversity when put on a short field. We have worked hard in that area.” Tomlin said, “It starts first with the acquisition of guys that are capable in that area. Can’t say enough about Minkah for example. The tear he is on is what it is; he needs no endorsement from me. But it is also our approach and who we work in the environmental element of our preparation. We just have to keep grinding.

Coach Tomlin says it always takes mental and physical strength to seal the deal. “…today we played, and I thought they played and played to win without fear. When you are playing a good opponent like the L.A. Rams, that is how you have to play. Thankfully, we are able to get a victory.”
Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald returned to his hometown Pittsburgh to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 10, 2019. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)
On the other side of the ball, former University of Pittsburgh defensive end Aaron Donald, now defensive tackle for the Los Angeles Rams is a native of Pittsburgh. He mentioned how it was a nice homecoming for both he and the people who watched him grow into the player he is today. “This is home. To be back at Heinz Field — where I played 4-years here in college [University of Pittsburgh] —  to be back here performing and to back here at home with my family watching, family and friends, it’s a good feeling.”
Donald was instrumental on defense, recording a half sack along with linebacker Clay Matthews which resulted in a safety. Despite his performance, Donald expressed his disappointment as his team came up short.
“I feel like we played well as a defense. We scored points, made turnovers, and made big stops,” Donald said. “There is always room for improvement, but I felt like overall I was proud of how the defense played today.” – Aaron Donald
The Steelers, however are on a short week and travel to face the Cleveland Browns — for the first of two matchups this season on Thursday night. The Browns defeated the Bills Sunday with a record of 3-6 and are in 3rd place in the AFC North behind the Steelers who are in 2nd with a record of 5-4. The Ravens are currently leading the division — 2 games ahead of Pittsburgh — at 7-2.


From the Pitt Panthers to the LA Rams, Aaron Donald Returns to Pittsburgh to Face Steelers

Screenshot of Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald during an interview about he and his trainer DeWayne Brown. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Native of Pittsburgh, Penn Hills High School standout, University of Pittsburgh product and National Football League All-pro, Aaron Donald has been nothing short of spectacular throughout his gridiron career.

The following clip is taken from an interview — with Golden Sky Media’s Brian Cook — of a documentary on legendary trainer DeWayne Brown (Release date: TBD) and Aaron Donald who has benefitted from Brown’s rigorous training regimen. 

However, Donald tells Cook how he feels about his return to his hometown on November 10 when the Rams will face the Pittsburgh Steelers, “This is my first time playing at Heinz Field since being a Pitt Panther,” Donald says, “I definitely have that marked on the calendar.”

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro will be lined up across from Donald and says it will take the whole team to stop him. “He moves around quite a bit. Everyone knows about Aaron Donald. I don’t need to speak on his resume. DeCastro said, “He’s a tremendous athlete. Smart player.”

Donald continues to train during the off season in Pittsburgh at the Aaron Donald Football Performance Center where he donated $1-million to renovate the facility. The back-to-back NFL Defensive Player of the Year continues to make significant pathways in professional football.