Chase Claypool might have put himself further in Mike Tomlin's doghouse.
The Steelers star wideout drew his head coach's ire early in Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings when he drew a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness. Tomlin benched him for a few plays, hoping to send a message.
Tomlin concedes he benched Claypool for his first quarter personal foul. Safe to say, Claypool didn’t get the message. pic.twitter.com/c2momo8Mdb
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) December 10, 2021
It appears the message didn't work.
The Steelers had a chance to force overtime on their final drive of the game, down 36-28. Pittsburgh rallied from a 29-0 deficit and made it a nail-biter. During that drive, Claypool caught a critical pass on fourth-and-1 for a 9-yard gain at Minnesota's 34-yard line with about 38 seconds left in regulation. After the reception, Claypool celebrated the first down and had the ball knocked out of his hands. It squirted on the field and it took an official a few seconds to corral it and get it set for the Steelers' next play, which was snapped with about 24 seconds left. Those were precious seconds the Steelers couldn't waste, as they eventually lost to the Vikings.
Chase Claypool cost the Steelers AT LEAST 5 seconds posing & pointing
that would have given the Steelers 1 more play… 1 more shot to tie it up
so dumb, so clueless pic.twitter.com/cy7wSkv4XE
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) December 10, 2021
So what happened, Chase?
"Definitely gotta be better," Claypool said. "I got tackled near the hash, did my little first-down point and went to hand the ball to the ref. He had just got there. So, even if I got right up and looked for him, he wasn't there. He ran down the field to come get the ball. The ball got knocked out of my hands. That's what cost us time. But I definitely do have to be better. I knew the situation. "
Claypool finished with eight catches and 93 yards in Thursday's loss.