5 bold predictions for the Steelers in Week 15 vs. Bengals

Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool (11). Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

Claypool’s snaps fall back to fourth

No one can argue just how impactful that Chase Claypool has been for this offense, as the rookie receiver has been a dynamic threat from all over the field. Recently though, it seems like his connection with Roethlisberger has been off and his big plays have been limited. While a part of this is due to the overall offensive regression, another may be Claypool hitting the dreaded rookie wall.

The college season is far shorter and less grueling than the typical NFL season is. This makes rookies struggling later in the season more common, as they aren’t used to a typical NFL schedule. More than likely, Claypool is starting to feel worn out due to the length of the season. As a result, his playing time has dipped a little and his overall production has plummeted.

Thus, this week, I think his playing percentage takes a back seat to the rest of the receivers. While part of this will be to help get him over this rookie wall, another factor is the team’s desire to get Washington more playing time. Both Claypool and Washington play a similar style of receiver (the Z receiver), which means he could step in more and allow Claypool to rest a little. I think the Steelers rely on that this week, and as a result, Claypool sees the least amount of playing time out of the receivers.