Steelers left without kicker due to injury on failed fake FG play
The Pittsburgh Steelers failed to convert on a fake field goal play during Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, and the questionable decision cost them much more than three points.
With 1:45 remaining in the first half and the score tied 3-3, the Steelers ran a fake field goal deep in Cleveland territory. Kicker Chris Boswell rolled out and looked for an open receiver but was unable to find one. Rather than throwing a touchdown, Boswell was lit up by Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott.
Chris Boswell got ROCKED on a fake field goal attempt pic.twitter.com/H6w3EuArYz
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) October 31, 2021
Here’s another angle of the play:
Sure Pittsburgh sure. And Boswell gets hurt afterwards pic.twitter.com/KrxhhdsQ5F
— Billy M (@BillyM_91) October 31, 2021
Boswell left the game following the hit and was evaluated for a concussion. He did not clear protocol and was ruled out for the remainder of the game. Former NFL referee and CBS rules analyst Gene Steratore said the Browns should have been flagged for a helmet-to-helmet hit.
Losing Boswell immediately proved costly for the Steelers. Their punter, rookie Pressley Harvin, has no prior experience kicking. When Pittsburgh scored in the second half to cut Cleveland’s lead to 10-9, they were forced to go for two and did not convert. Harvin then kicked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds and gave the Browns great starting field position.
Boswell getting hurt on the fake field goal was obviously the worst-case scenario for the Steelers, but it’s fair to wonder if it was worth the risk. While we’ve seen fake field goals that backfired a lot worse than that one, the injury changed the entire dynamic of the game.