Posted August 27, 2017 at 06:00 AM | Updated August 27, 2017 at 06:05 AM
PITTSBURGH — While Ben Roethlisberger was briefly off, then off the field, the Steelers’ starting defense struggled for the entire first half before Pittsburgh fell to the Indianapolis Colts, 19-15, on Saturday night at Heinz Field.
But while the third preseason game did provide the most honest evaluation of the Steelers tema as a whole, it also gave a clear sense of direction for some key players heading into the regular season.
Here’s who helped their roster stock or generally impressed, and who did the opposite:
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For a time at the start of training camp, when Fitzgerald Toussaint was taking most of the first-team reps and Davis was struggling to break through the line of scrimmage, it looked like the veteran running back could be cut.
But on Saturday night he got his first true runout of the preseason and looked like the decisive backup Pittsburgh needs him to be. He came out of the gate with rushes of 10 and nine yards, returned kicks competently and finished with seven carries for 21 yards in a convincing showing.
If nothing else, he forced the Steelers to carry four tailbacks into Week 1.
Hurt: Alejandro Villanueva, LT
Mike Tomlin said the sack-fumble of Roethlisberger off of Villanueva’s side was an assignment issue, which doesn’t exactly exonerate the left tackle. He did improve as the game went on, but a poor start against the pass rush and some problems getting the run game going on his side weren’t encouraging.