Kevin C. Cox / Getty Staff Pittsburgh Steelers WR Santonio Holmes catching the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLIII.
On Saturday the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked of their run to Super Bowl LV with a playoff hype video and virtual pep rally.
The one-minute hype video features Steelers players past and present, kicked off by six-time Super Bowl winner Mean Joe Greene, who won four rings as a player and two more while serving as a special assistant for the team.
“January football …” begins Mean Joe Greene, before giving way to the likes of fellow Hall of Famer Franco Harris, Super Bowl hero Santonio Holmes and others, including current stars like Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt, the latter of whom wraps things up by saying “Here … we … go.”
It’s playoff time in Pittsburgh #HereWeGo | #SuperWildCard | #CLEvsPIT: Sunday at 8:15 pm on NBC pic.twitter.com/Y9r3UiWWb1
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 9, 2021
Steelers Virtual Pep Rally
On Saturday the Steelers also hosted a virtual pep rally, with former players, celebrities and far-flung members of Steelers Nation contributing #HereWeGo photos.
Former players seen in the photo lineup include: James Harrison, Donnie Shell, James Farrior, Rocky Bleier, and a gray-bearded Tommy Maddox, the quarterback who beat the Browns the last time Cleveland had the audacity to come to Pittsburgh for a postseason game—18 long years ago.
A few Pittsburgh Penguins players are also included, including Evgeni Malkin, as well as celebs like actress Tamara Tunie and singer-songwriter Bret Michaels.
Saturday’s Roster Moves
As for the business of football, on Saturday the Steelers made several roster moves in anticipation of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns (Heinz Field, 8:15 p.m. ET). First and foremost, the team activated inside linebacker Robert Spillane and offensive guard Matt Feiler off injured reserve. Both are expected to start on Sunday, re-establishing their spots in the starting lineup.
At the same time, the Steelers activated tight end Kevin Rader from the practice squad, hardly a surprise considering that head coach Mike Tomlin went out of his way to praise the young tight end at his weekly press conference earlier this week, just days after Rader made his NFL debut.
To make room on the roster, the Steelers released inside linebacker Tegray Scales, who played in the last four games of the regular season while Spillane was out of the lineup.
Will Jack Conklin Play on Sunday Night?
Meanwhile, NFL observers are waiting to see if Cleveland’s All-Pro tackle Jack Conklin will be able to play on Sunday night. For now, he remains questionable with an unspecified illness. But Conklin has reportedly made the trip to Pittsburgh, albeit separate from his teammates.
But the Browns won’t have cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Kevin Johnson, nor will they have offensive guard Joel Bitonio and wide receiver KhaDarel Hodge, all of whom remain on the COVID-19 list.
Pittsburgh’s Next Playoff Opponent?
If the Steelers take care of business against the Browns on Sunday night they will face the Buffalo Bills in the next round of the playoffs. On Saturday, the No. 2 seeded Bills held off the No. 7 seeded Indianapolis Colts by a score of 27-24.
Next weekend the No. 1 seeded Kansas City Chiefs will also host an AFC playoff game. KC’s opponent will be the the winner of Sunday afternoon’s Baltimore Ravens-Tennessee Titans game.
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