Get Contributions From Secondary Receivers
When the Rams swung a trade to land disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars, it added perhaps the NFL’s best pure coverage corner to the team’s secondary. Ramsey is a legitimate lockdown corner at a time when it’s harder than ever to play the position.
When the Rams come to town on Sunday, expect Ramsey’s main focus to be on Steelers number one receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, provided the receiver suits up on Sunday after being added to the Steelers injury report. Given Smith-Schuster’s inconsistency so far this season, Ramsey seems likely to keep him locked up, for the most part, making it crucial that Pittsburgh’s other receiving options step up.
James Washington, a guy who we have been waiting on to breakout all season long, finally showed signs of a breakthrough last week. Though four catches for 69 yards isn’t exactly a monster performance, he showed a bit more chemistry with Mason Rudolph and that’s huge. Behind Washington, rookie Diontae Johnson also needs to step up in a big way. Though he has shown flashes of brilliance, Johnson, like Washington, has been far too inconsistent. Coming off a game against Indianapolis in which he only managed one reception, Johnson will need to play much better to give the Steelers offense the boost they need.
Whether Smith-Schuster plays or not, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ lesser-known receivers need to step up and take advantage of Los Angeles’ lack of depth in the secondary. Ramsey may be able to lock down whoever he is up against, but the secondary options step up, Pittsburgh’s offense can still survive.