STEELERS – FRIDAY
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Friday that second-year inside linebacker Ryan Shazier is out for Sunday’s game at St. Louis, which means that veterans Vince Williams and Sean Spence get a chance to fill Shazier’s considerable cleats against the Rams.
“We have some capable guys, and it’s the next man up attitude here,” linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. “We’ve got Vince Williams, and we’ve got (Sean) Spence. More than capable guys.”
Shazier’s performance against San Francisco last week was dominant, as he rattled the 49ers for 15 total tackles, including 11 solo, one dazzling 17-yard sack, three stops behind the line, one quarterback hurry, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Shazier’s 22 tackles are the fourth-best in the NFL through two games.
“Ryan had an outstanding game, and it’s been great to watch him grow and make those plays,” Spence said. “I’m really one of his biggest fans. (But) the key to our defense is for everyone to do their job. That’s just what Ryan did last week. He did his job and made the plays that came to him, and I feel as a defense if we continue to do that we all can have those kinds of games.”
Spence had a rough start to his NFL career, much more difficult than what Shazier is going through, so the veteran has tried to console him.
“(Shazier) wants to be out there,” Spence said. “He wants to be playing, but sometimes injuries are a factor. I’m a guy who’s been through it, so I understand where he’s coming from. And I just told him to keep his head up. He’ll be Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access" I just hope that he comes back fast, because we need him. He’s one of our best players right now, and we need him.”
Notes: The Steelers also will be without second-year nose tackle Daniel McCullers (knee), while CB Cortez Allen (knee) is questionable for the Rams game. CB William Gay (not injury related), DE Cam Heyward (elbow) and WR Markus Wheaton (chest) are probable.