The Steelers are used to trying to win without their star players. Now, they’re going to have to do it without one of the most reliable forces they have.
Defensive end Cameron Heyward has not missed a game in his NFL career. His 85 consecutive games played is the third-longest streak in the league. It will come to an end this week against the Miami Dolphins, as the sixth-year cog will miss the first of what could be two or three games, NFL Network reported Tuesday.
Heyward has been playing through a high-ankle sprain since the preseason, but the hamstring injury he sustained in Pittsburgh’s 31-13 victory against the New York Jets on Sunday is what finally will sideline him.
Heyward, who was a first-round pick from Ohio State in 2011, was headed toward another big year, having already notched 3 sacks in Pittsburgh’s multiple-front defense. He has 17.5 sacks dating to the start of the 2014 season.
Pittsburgh is 4-1 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC North. The Steelers rank 25th in total defense, and with injuries at outside linebacker, they were counting on Heyward to be one of their better pass rushers to help out a younger secondary.