Let’s just say that didn’t go as planned for a defense that was without many of its focal pieces. The Steelers gave up 41 points, scoring 37 of their own. It was a brutal showing for their defense.
During the game, Cam Heyward, an interior defensive lineman for Pittsburgh, chased down Herbert who had been running all over the Steelers and, after getting up, appeared to punch the star quarterback.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapport, Heyward’s action will not be penalized with a suspension but a fine if anything. That’s bad news for Cincinnati who may have caught a break if Heyward was sidelined.
#Steelers DL Cam Heyward, who appeared to punch #Chargers QB Justin Herbert late in last night’s game, will have his actions reviewed for a fine, not suspension, source said. Heyward told reporters punching was not his intent and it looked worse than it was.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 22, 2021
The numbers for interior lineman aren’t always there, but Heyward is an integral part of what the Steelers defense has become. He’s had five games with at least five combined tackles. He also has seven passes defended and an interception this season.
Here’s the play which is in question for a fine.
Cam Heyward punched Justin Herbert in the stomach. How is this okay. pic.twitter.com/V4Lu5S9yaf— Future MVP Joe Burrow (@FauxJeaux) November 22, 2021
After the Bears’ Cassius Marsh got a flag and a fine for taunting (basically gifting Pittsburgh the game), one which many were absolutely shocked about both at the moment and when he got a fine, Heyward better have some discipline coming down from the league.
That said, the Steelers were already down a number of defenders, and they’ll likely to remain down some big-time names as they travel to Cincinnati.
However, last time these two teams, the Bengals didn’t need any help thrashing Pittsburgh, and there should be hope that after a great performance against the Raiders that they don’t need any breaks this time around.
The Bengals offensive line should be at full strength. Cincinnati scored 24 against the Steelers the first time around, allowing just 10, so it could be their defense that helps them sweep Pittsburgh in the regular season.