Jones Injured Against Chiefs

Dale Lolley's concerned about Jarvis Jones, as well as several other topics following the Steelers' overtime preseason loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday.

If I'm Shamarko Thomas or Markus Wheaton, I go into Mike Tomlin's office on Monday and ask not to play in the preseason finale.

With Jarvis Jones suffering a chest injury in Saturday's 26-20 preseason loss to Kansas City, the Pittsburgh Steelers are running out of premium draft picks.

Jones was taken to a Pittsburgh hospital for additional evaluation of a chest injury he suffered in the fourth quarter following Saturday's game. Judging by the way he looked as he was wheeled out on a gurney, Jones, Pittsburgh's top draft pick, was in some discomfort.

This, of course, comes on the heels of second-round pick Le'Veon Bell being sidelined with a mid-foot sprain suffered in the team's second preseason game.

Jones was injured after being tackled following an interception off a tipped pass that was negated by a pass interference penalty by Josh Victorian.

It does lead me to question why Jones was still in the game at that point.

I understand that as a rookie, Jones needs all the playing time he can get. But the Steelers also think highly enough of him that he's rotating at right outside linebacker with Jason Worilds.

And he's been making enough plays while doing that, including being part of a stuff on fourth-and-short in the first quarter against the Chiefs. He's too valuable a player to be running out there in scrub time.

Of course, the Steelers also had Worilds out covering a punt late in the fourth quarter and he came limping ever so slightly following that play.

Tomlin played with fire throughout training camp by having the team do a lot of live tackling. He made it through that unscathed. But the preseason games haven't been as kind.

* Is it just me, or does Jones come up with every loose ball when he's on the field?

Not only did he make the ill-fated pick during which he was injured, he also recovered Shaun Suisham's blocked 52-yard field goal.

Some guys are just ball magnets, and Jones seems to be one of those.

* I liked the use of Kelvin Beachum as a tackle-eligible tight end.

Everyone knows the Steelers are limited at tight end right now with Heath Miller still out. And using Beachum there as a blocker makes a lot of sense.

I also liked the fact the Steelers mixed things up and threw as often as they ran the ball out of that formation.

I asked Beachum after the game if he's going to add any other job titles to his resume, quarterback or running back, perhaps?

I was only joking slightly. He's already a back-up at guard and tackle, with center a possibility on game days as well.

* While the kick return for a touchdown the Chiefs had was a downer - what were you doing Victorian? - realize that the first kick coverage unit was especially solid.

The Chiefs had starting field position of the 20, 12 and 8 following Pittsburgh kickoffs in the first half.

* Lost in the shuffle of the preseason is the fact that the run defense for the first unit has been outstanding.

Saturday night, it bottled up Jamal Charles for 10 yards on 7 carries. And that total included an 11-yard run.

So much for Steve McLendon not holding up against the run like Casey Hampton.

* While on the subject of playing front-line guys needlessly in preseason games, what in the wide, wide world of sports is Antonio Brown doing returning punts in the preseason?

Shouldn't the coaching staff know all it needs to know about Brown as a punt returner? Shouldn't it be trying to figure out if anyone else on the roster can do it?

I can understand putting him out there in the regular season if he's your best option - though I'm not a fan of using your No. 1 receiver as the return man. But there's not a lot of good that can come from Brown being out there in a preseason game.

* Troy Polamalu looks like Troy Polamalu circa 2010 - before he injured his Achilles' tendon late in the season against Cincinnati.

* Emmanuel Sanders, if you want to get paid like a star at the end of this season, you've got to find a way to hold on to that touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a perfect pass, and Sanders got just enough separation to haul that pass in.

You absolutely cannot juggle that ball while going to the ground, despite the fact that you took two steps with it.

It's a silly NFL rule. If he was running, that's a score. But the rule is the rule.

(Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.)

Steel City Insider Top Stories