Breaking News:

Alabama Senate race live updates: Roy Moore vs. Doug Jones




H 73° L 43°
  • clear-night
    Current Conditions
    Clear. H 73° L 43°
  • clear-night
    Clear. H 73° L 43°
  • clear-day
    Sunny. H 61° L 45°

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00


The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00


The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Steelers turn to versatile Moats in place of injured Shazier

Steelers turn to versatile Moats in place of injured Shazier

Steelers turn to versatile Moats in place of injured Shazier
Photo Credit: 50
FILE - In this Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) is carted off the field after an injury in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, in Cincinnati. The Steelers are spending this week trying to figure out who to play at inside linebacker in place of injured Ryan Shazier. (AP Photo/Frank Victores, File)

Steelers turn to versatile Moats in place of injured Shazier

This is not the way Arthur Moats or anybody else wanted the veteran linebacker to get back into the regular rotation for the Pittsburgh Steelers defense.

As teammate Ryan Shazier rested in a hospital on Thursday recovering from surgery to stabilize his injured spine, his long-term prognosis still uncertain, Moats set about getting familiar with Shazier's spot at inside linebacker in preparation for Sunday night's game against Baltimore.

It's a position Moats hardly considers "his" for the rest of the season.

"That's the last thing I'm concerned about," Moats said.

Not when there's still so much unknown about Shazier.

The 25-year-old left Paul Brown Stadium in an ambulance on Monday night after injuring his spine while hitting Cincinnati wide receiver Josh Malone in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory.

Shazier spent about 36 hours in a Cincinnati hospital before being transported to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Team doctors and neurosurgeons Drs. David Okwonkow and Joseph Maroon performed surgery to stabilize Shazier's spine on Wednesday night.

"If they say that's the best thing for him, we're all for it," Moats said. "Admittedly that's our brother. You're always nervous seeing him go down on Monday and at the end of the day we're just praying for him."

The Steelers signed linebacker Sean Spence — who spent three seasons with the team after being selected in the third round of the 2012 draft — on Wednesday to provide depth.

Spence, however, hasn't played since being released by Indianapolis in October. And with backup Tyler Matakevich dealing with a shoulder injury, Moats will line up next to Vince Williams when the Steelers (10-2) look to clinch the AFC North against the Ravens (7-5).

Moats moved frequently between inside and outside linebacker after the Buffalo Bills took him in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, but has worked exclusively on the outside since signing with Pittsburgh in 2014. That changed this week, when the coaches called him on Tuesday and told him to get ready to move inside.

"If you're a linebacker on this team you should know what everybody on the field is doing every defense," defensive coordinator Keith Butler said.

"The reason (Moats) has stayed around as long as he has is because he does know that. Knowing it and doing it are two different things. We hope he can help us."

Something Moats has done regularly when called on. He rolled up 11½ sacks from 2014-16 before taking on a lesser role this season behind Bud Dupree and rookie T.J. Watt.

Though he lacks Shazier's elite speed — Moats joked he runs a 4.3 40-yard dash like Shazier but it's "wind-aided" — at 246 pounds he has the size to be effective against the run and the institutional knowledge so that being forced into the lineup so quickly shouldn't be an issue.

"Ever since my situation in Buffalo where I would switch positions sometimes in the middle of the year from inside to outside, whether it's 4-3 or 3-4, I've always been aware of what's going on at the position and helps me understand defenses in general."

Though Butler allowed Spence isn't quite in "football shape" after being out of work for two months, Spence's mere presence is a testament to both Pittsburgh's trust in him and Spence's perseverance.

Spence was a rookie nearing the end of an impressive training camp in 2012 when he stepped awkwardly in the preseason finale against Carolina and tore two ligaments in his left knee, leading to a long and painful rehab that robbed him of his first two seasons and threatened his career.

He returned in 2014 and played in a reserve role across two seasons before signing as a free agent with Tennessee, a move facilitated in part by Shazier's emergence.

Back in Pittsburgh, Spence is all too familiar with the prospect of having your life severely altered by what looks like a routine play. He was able to recover. Shazier's prognosis remains far murkier.

In their limited contact with Shazier, his teammates say he's done nothing but encourage them to continue to push forward. Spence is ready to shake off the rust and put his hand in a pile that feels familiar even after two-plus seasons away.

"People are saying he wants to be around, he's asking about all the guys here," Spence said. "He wants us to go out there and play for him. Go out and win for him."

NOTES: Matakevich and CB Joe Haden (fractured leg) did not practice on Thursday. ... WR Antonio Brown (toe) also did not practice while Watt was limited (knee). ... S Mike Mitchell (ankle) and TE Vance McDonald (ankle) were full participants.


For more NFL coverage: and

Read More

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • More than 100 Democratic lawmakers are calling on the House Oversight Committee to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct levied against President Donald Trump, a group of female U.S. representatives said at a news conference Tuesday. >> Read more trending news More than a dozen women have accused the president of forced kissing, unwanted groping and making inappropriate sexual comments since 2015, when Trump announced his plan to run for office. The allegations span decades. The president has repeatedly denied the claims. The chair of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, said Tuesday that “the time is right to get the truth” about the allegations. She said a letter requesting a congressional investigation had garnered more than 100 signatures from Democratic lawmakers by Tuesday afternoon. >> Related: Who is accusing Trump of sexual misconduct? “The #MeToo movement has arrived,” Frankel said. “Sexual abuse will not be tolerated, whether it’s by a Hollywood producer, the chef of a restaurant, a member of Congress or the president of the United States.” The letter, sent to the chair and vice chair of the House Oversight Committee, said that the president has made statements that have appeared to give credence to the allegations against him. “The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women,” the letter said, referencing a 2005 video from “Access Hollywood” in which Trump could be heard making crude comments about women.  “Subsequently, Mr. Trump apologized and called it ‘locker room talk.’ He has since called all his accusers liars.” >> Related: Melania Trump defends husband's lewd comments about women as 'boy talk' Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Michigan, the vice president of the Democratic Women’s Working Group, said Tuesday that Americans “deserve to have a thorough investigation that will reveal the facts.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the call for an investigation as unnecessary and unwanted by the American people. “The president has answered these questions,” she said Tuesday at a news briefing. “He has spoken to these accusations and denied and pushed that they are all false and fabricated accusations. Frankly, I think if Congress wants to spend time investigating things they should prob focus on some of the thins that the American people would really like to investigate, like how to secure our borders, how to defeat ISIS (or) how to pass tax reform that actually impacts them.” Four of Trump’s accusers on Monday called on Congress to investigate Trump’s behavior. Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Lisa Boyne first accused Trump of sexual harassment in the run-up to last year’s election. “They’ve investigated other Congress members, so I think it only stands fair that (Trump) be investigated as well,” Holvey said Monday at a news conference. “I think also a nonpartisan investigation is very important, not just for him but for anybody that has allegations against them. This isn’t a partisan issue. This is how women are treated every day.” The pressure to investigate Trump’s actions has grown as the “#MeToo” movement has encouraged more women to speak out about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault. Earlier this month, three lawmakers announced their intention to resign or retire amid sexual harassment scandals. >> Related: Trump accusers call for congressional investigation into alleged sexual misconduct Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, announced last week that he plans to resign in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct levied against him by several women. He was accused of groping women as they posed for photos with him and forcibly kissing at least two people. Rep. John Conyers, the longest-serving member of Congress, submitted his resignation last week after he was accused of sexually harassing several women who worked for him. Conyers, D-Michigan, denied the allegations but said he decided to retire because of health concerns. The 88-year-old congressman was hospitalized in Michigan earlier this month. Rep. Trent Franks, R-Arizona, said last week that he plans to resign from his seat by the end of January after the House Ethics Committee announced it was investigating allegations of sexual harassment levied against him by his former employees.
  • Orlando Police worry that  a man wanted for a shooting and robbery outside a motel room will seriously hurt someone if not caught soon. It happened at the Super 8 on American Way.   OPD Detective Adam Krudo said the victim’s cellphone was stolen and then was shot in the lower torso. He is expected to recover.
  • The peak of the Geminid meteor shower is set to make for a spectacular view of the cosmos this month. December’s robust Geminids are known to throw as many as 120 bright meteors per hour and can be viewed during the evening hours as well as predawn. Astronomers expect the most meteors to be visible Tuesday night through Thursday.  “This is it, the shower we’ve all been waiting for,” astronomer Bob King said in his Dec. 11 column for Sky and Telescope. “Not only is it the year’s most prolific shower, the moon is essentially out of the picture.” In 2016, the luminous glow of a full moon obscured the zippy Geminids, but this year the moon is in its crescent phase, a slender slice of light in the sky that shouldn’t interrupt the show.  >> Read more trending news The Geminids are unique not just in quantity but also birthplace. Most meteor showers come from comets, roiling cauldrons of gas, dust, ice and rock that have glowing heads and tails. According to NASA, Geminids appear as the Earth crosses the path of an inactive chunk of rock in space that doesn’t shed debris. The rock has been named 3200 Phaethon. “Phaethon’s nature is debated,” NASA astronomer Bill Cooke said. “It’s either a near-Earth asteroid or an extinct comet, sometimes called a rock comet.” The Geminids are Cooke’s favorite “because they defy explanation.” King cautions that the estimate of 120 meteors per hour is an idealized number, visible only under perfect conditions in rural areas.  “Depending on the time you observe and local light pollution, counts will vary,” King said. “At my observing site, which is handicapped by minor to moderate sky glow, I cut the rate in half to keep expectations realistic. A meteor a minute is certainly nothing to complain about.”  The Geminids are the namesake of the Gemini constellation, from which they appear to radiate. The shower can be viewed with the naked eye over clear, dark skies across most of the world. As long as stargazers are away from bright lights and look up in any direction, they should be able to see the shower, according to NASA. The shower peaks just after 9 p.m. Dec. 13 and lasts until dawn Dec. 14. “When you see a meteor, try to trace it backwards,” Cooke said. “If you end up in the constellation Gemini, there's a good chance you've seen a Geminid.” NASA will broadcast the Geminid shower live on Ustream Dec. 13 from the Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
  • A former Facebook executive says he feels “tremendous guilt” about the social network, which is “destroying how society works.” Chamath Palihapitiya was the company’s vice president of user growth from  2007 to 2011.  According to The Verge, he thinks Facebook has created tools “that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.” “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he told the Stanford Graduate School of Business, referring to online interactions drive by hearts, likes and thumbs-ups.  “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth.  And it’s not an American problem - this is not about Russians ads.  This is a global problem.” Facebook responded to the former employee, an unusual step. “Chamath has not been at Facebook for over six years,” a company spokesperson told The Verge. “When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world.  Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too.” Recently, early investor Sean Parker said he has become a “conscientious objector” to social media, and that Facebook and others had succeeded by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.” 
  • Trading barbs with President Donald Trump via Twitter on Tuesday, women Democrats demanded that Congress investigate past claims of sexual misconduct leveled against the President during the 2016 campaign, as several lawmakers took the extra step of asking for Mr. Trump’s resignation. “President Trump should resign. But, of course, he won’t hold himself accountable,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who has emerged as the leader of efforts to pressure the President on the issue of past allegations. Mr. Trump lobbed a Twitter barb directly at the New York Democrat on Tuesday morning, labeling her a “lightweight” and “total flunky.” Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017 Gillibrand answered back, saying her voice would not be shut down by the President. You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office. — Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) December 12, 2017 And she was joined by other Democrats as well, in calling for the stories about the President to get more of a public airing. . @realDonaldTrump is a misogynist, compulsive liar, and admitted sexual predator. Attacks on Kirsten are the latest example that no one is safe from this bully. He must resign. — Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) December 12, 2017 Are you really trying to bully, intimidate and slut-shame @SenGillibrand? Do you know who you're picking a fight with? Good luck with that, @realDonaldTrump. Nevertheless, #shepersisted. — Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) December 12, 2017 A day after the White House turned aside questions about past claims made by women against the President, Mr. Trump directly addressed the matter, saying that it was all “FAKE NEWS,” calling the charges against him nothing more than ‘false accusations and fabricated stories.’ Despite thousands of hours wasted and many millions of dollars spent, the Democrats have been unable to show any collusion with Russia – so now they are moving on to the false accusations and fabricated stories of women who I don’t know and/or have never met. FAKE NEWS! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2017 At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, a group of House Democratic women asked Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), the head of the House Oversight committee, to investigate the accusations against Mr. Trump. “At least 17 women have publicly accused the President of sexual misconduct,” the letter to Gowdy stated. “The President’s own remarks appear to back up the allegations,” the letter continued. “The President has boasted in public and in crude terms that he feels at liberty to perpetrate such conduct against women.” “The ‘Me-Too’ movement has arrived,” said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL). “Victims must be heard, perpetrators must be held accountable.” 'To date, more than 17 women have publicly come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexual misconduct,' lawmaker says. 'Simply said, Americans deserve the truth.' — CBS News (@CBSNews) December 12, 2017 At a news conference, Frankel said the letter – which originally had 58 signatures – had swiftly jumped to over 100 in all. “Americans deserve the truth,” Frankel told reporters. While the Democratic women were in the spotlight, some of their male colleagues also chimed in with calls for a more thorough review of the accusations against Mr. Trump. “If you called for Franken to step down, don’t you also have to say it is the right thing for the President to resign?” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on CNN.