There is no question that had this been one of the old school battles between these two teams, there would have been a lot more defense being played. But with the way players were getting beaten up and limping off the field, it had all the making of the old smash mouth games these two old, bitter rivals had back in the day.
The first injury happened on the second play of the game. Steelers receiver Antonio Brown caught a pass and went up the right sideline. Charles Woodson came over to knock him out of bounds and Woodson didn't get up quickly. It was that shoulder he had dislocated in the season opener. He went to the sideline and had a brace put on it and returned to the game a few plays later. Cuz, CWood.
"I don't know how to be hurt," Woodson said after the game. "If I'm able to get up and move around, I'm not coming off the field."
That's old school Raiders DB toughness right there.
A couple of other Raiders players didn't make it back after they were injured. First it was Latavius Murray who was hit hard in the head by Mike Mitchell. The hit looked to knock Murray unconscious and the ball came out and was recovered by the Steelers. Murray left the game to be treated for concussion and didn't return.
The next drive, rookie tight end Clive Walford was hit hard on a catch attempt and was slow to get up. He would return a bit later and appeared to be ok.
Not long after that, Raiders starting center Rodney Hudson limped off the field not to return. He was replaced by Tony Bergstrom.
Before you think it was just the Raiders who were coming down with the injury bug, the Steelers lost their starting quarterback. Late in the fourth quarter, Aldon Smith got into the backfield to sack Ben Roethlisberger for the only time in the game. On the sack, he landed on Roethlisberger's foot, knocking him out of the game. He was eventually carted off and taken for observation.
He is expected to miss a few weeks with a left foot injury which is a huge loss for the Steelers. He was back two weeks and is now out again while the Steelers are trying to make a playoff run. They are already without running back Le'Veon Bell for the season.
The status of Latavius Murray and Rodney Hudson are uncertain at this time. It looks like Murray will enter the league's concussion protocol, making his status uncertain for next week. Hudson will likely have an MRI on Monday and we'll hopefully know more by Wednesday when the team returns to practice.