Chase Claypool has been getting blasted since Thursday Night Football and his actions that may have cost his team another shot to tie the game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Steelers almost pulled off one of the most memorable comebacks in recent NFL history after going down 29-0 to the Vikings – but their chances were hurt when WR Chase Claypool caught a pass for a first down and then he proceeded to celebrate instead of handing the ball to the ref. The ball was then knocked out of his hands, and the Steelers were unable to stop the clock until 24 seconds were left in the game.
The Steelers ended up making it to first down at the 12-yard line, but by then there were only three seconds left on the clock. Ben Roethlisberger floated a perfect pass into the end zone for rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth, but he was unable to pull it in.
The following day, Ryan Clark took to ESPN and blasted Claypool for his actions.
“Chase Claypool is as mentally and emotionally underdeveloped as he is physically overdeveloped,” Clark said. “He only cares about himself! And that self-centeredness is part of what’s bringing the Steelers team and organization down.”
Had Claypool not elebrated his catch, the team may have had another shot – or two – to tie it up.
After the game, the 23-year-old admitted he made a mistake, but also shifted blame to a teammate.
“Definitely gotta be better,” Claypool said. “I got tackled near the hash, did my little first-down point and went to hand the ball to the ref. He had just got there. So, even if I got right up and looked for him, he wasn’t there. He ran down the field to come get the ball. The ball got knocked out of my hands. That’s what cost us time. But I definitely do have to be better. I knew the situation.”
Claypool had a productive game, catching eight passes for 93 yards, but his celebration took away from his performance.