The Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting at 1-1, but will be without key contributors on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals including Diontae Johnson, Alex Highsmith, and Carlos Davis. TJ Watt is questionable. Needless to say, the outside linebacker rotation could be thinner than expected going into Week 3.
Enter Jamir Jones. The Steelers are no stranger to losing players to injury. The message is always the same; “next man up.” Jones is going to have to live up to those words on Sunday no matter what. Even if Watt does end up playing, it could likely be on a limited snap count to keep the groin injury he was dealing with all week at bay, and with no Highsmith, Jones will most definitely be seeing some playing time.
Jones had some great flashes in the preseason both on defense and special teams. Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin has said as much when asked about keeping who he kept on the 53-man roster going into the season. Jones recorded 4 sacks in the preseason as well as 13 total QB pressures. He recorded 2 tackles in the loss to Las Vegas Raiders last Sunday.
Jones had a tough road to the team. Nothing was given to him. He was a UDA coming out of Notre Dame last season, and was signed and released by the Houston Texans. He was signed by the Steelers when he caught Tomlin’s eye at Notre Dame’s Pro Day, which he competed at after not being able to the year prior due to COVID-19 restrictions. He’s been noted for his motor and hustle.
Jones is going to have to use everything that helped him get here and put it out on the field Sunday. He’s going to want, and have to prove the coaches right for keeping him on the roster. This game is an important one. It is against a divisional opponent in the Bengals, who in their last matchup with the team won rather handily with a backup quarterback. The team is going to want to bounce back from that as well as the loss they incurred last week at home. Jones stepping up could end up being a big part in the difference between a win or a loss. It’s next man up, and it’s Jones’ turn to step up the plate.
What are yinz expecting to see from Jones? Will he help the Steelers walk away with a W in Week 3? Sound off in the comment section below!