Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced the downside of being aggressive on special teams just before halftime against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
With the score knotted at 3-3 with 1:45 left in the half, kicker Chris Boswell lined up for a 27-yard field goal – only for the snap to go directly to him on a trick play. Boswell rolled out to the right as the Browns adjusted to cover any targets. Running out of space as he neared the sideline, Boswell heaved an incompletion to turn the ball over on downs.
As Boswell released the ball, Cleveland’s Jordan Elliott delivered a shot toward the kicker’s head that sent him flying out of bounds. Pittsburgh’s medical staff helped him limp to the locker room, and Boswell was diagnosed with a concussion; he will miss the rest of the game against the Browns.
CBS officiating analyst thought that it should have been a personal foul penalty for roughing.
“Even though Chris Boswell is a kicker by position, on this fake field goal attempt, he is a passer,” Steratore explained on Twitter. “A defender cannot hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area.”
The injury to Boswell places the Steelers in an obvious predicament. Rather than attempting an extra point to tie the game at 10 in the third quarter, Pittsburgh tried (and failed) on a two-point conversion from the 12-yard line after a penalty. Rookie punter Pressley Harvin III, normally the holder in the field goal operation, was seen practicing on the sidelines kicking into a net.
Boswell had been 12 of 13 on field goals this season and was a perfect 12-for-12 on extra points. Since the start of the 2019 season, he has made 59 of 63 (93.7%) of his field goal tries.
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Steelers’ Chris Boswell out vs. Browns: Suffered concussion on fake FG