By Danny Cox
As the divisional round of the NFL playoffs draws near, the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing to face off with a Kansas City Chiefs team that they handily defeated, 43-14, earlier this season. Still, Week 4—when that last meeting took place—was a long time ago. This Chiefs team has fixed many of the issues that plagued them at the beginning of the season, and that’s precisely how Kansas City ended up with a first-round bye and the No. 2 seed in the AFC.
The Steelers are focused on the game against the Chiefs and moving on to the conference championship, but off-field factors have been popping up and causing distractions at a most inconvenient time.
Linebacker Bud Dupree fined for hit on Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore
During last week’s victory over the Miami Dolphins, Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree delivered a vicious hit to quarterback Matt Moore that caused Moore to leave the game for one play. Dupree received a roughing the passer penalty on the play, but he was not ejected. On Thursday, he received a much bigger punishment.
The NFL handed down a fine of $18,231 to Dupree, though it is expected that he will appeal this punishment. The 23-year-old linebacker has already said that it was not his intent to hurt Moore, and that he just wanted to tackle the QB to bring him down on the play.
The incident took place halfway through the second quarter. Moore was running with the ball and threw it at the last second, and Dupree delivered the big hit right as he let go of the pigskin. Some of the Miami players tried to confront Dupree, who was prepared to defend himself.
Dupree missed the majority of the season (10 games) with a groin injury, but he has been back on the field for seven games and racked up five sacks. While he says he isn’t yet at 100 percent, the LB says he’s in a position to play and help the Steelers get to the Super Bowl.
Joey Porter has most charges dropped against him
Last weekend, Steelers linebackers coach Joey Porter was arrested after the team’s win over the Miami Dolphins. Porter allegedly got into an altercation with a bouncer and a police officer. After his arrest, Porter received five different charges, including aggravated assault and resisting arrest. Luckily for Porter, three of the charges have been dropped and the two remaining have been reduced to disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
The Pittsburgh Steelers organization said they are continuing to gather information and evidence regarding the situation, but they have reinstated Porter as most chargers have been dropped.
The team is already in communication with the NFL regarding Porter’s actions and how the Personal Conduct Policy of the league will come into play.