Thu, Sep 24, 2015 - Page 19 News List

Stellar performances from fill-ins show Steelers’ depth

AP, PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania

The NFL’s second-leading rusher is about to lose his starting job on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The wide receiver who has already quadrupled his entire output last year remains a placeholder, at least for now.

And if DeAngelo Williams and Darrius Heyward-Bey are being honest, they are fine with it. Then again, considering the players they have been filling in for, they do not really have a choice.

Williams will step aside for All-Pro Le’Veon Bell when Bell returns from a two-game suspension on Sunday at St Louis.

Heyward-Bey will almost certainly see his spot in the rotation change when Martavis Bryant has his four-week league-enforced absence end next month.

While Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin made it a point to thank the 32-year-old Williams for his contributions — including 127 yards rushing in the Steelers’ season-opening loss to the Patriots and a team-record-tying three rushing touchdowns in last Sunday’s romp over San Francisco — Tomlin left little doubt on Tuesday about who will be in the backfield with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in St Louis.

“I’m going to play Le’Veon Bell,” Tomlin said.

Williams, who called Pittsburgh’s top-ranked offense “a beautiful puzzle,” made sure to take a bow after his three scores versus the 49ers.

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