Pittsburgh Steelers’ OT Chukwuma Okorafor was not fined for his block on Cleveland Browns’ LB Anthony Walker in Week 3’s game last Thursday night. The league hasn’t announced it in its weekly batch of fines and The Trib’s Joe Rutter confirms Okorafor will not be fined for the play.
The block occurred early in the third quarter of the game. On a shovel pass to RB Jaylen Warren, Okorafor climbed to block Walker, making contact and knocking him to the ground. With Walker down, Okorafor finished his block by falling on top of him.
Take a look at the play.
Okorafor was not flagged for the hit on the play. However, he was flagged for being illegally downfield, negating the long run Warren had that would’ve at least put the Steelers in field goal range. Instead, Pittsburgh punted and Cleveland took control of the second half, outscoring the Steelers 16-3 and winning 29-17.
Walker suffered a season-ending leg injury on the initial hit, not due to Okorafor falling on top of him. That prompted several Browns’ players to call out Okorafor for, in their words, “bullshit” play. But Okorafor did nothing wrong. He didn’t know Walker was hurt and linemen routinely fall on top of opponents after pancaking them so the defender can’t get back up. The fact there was no flag speaks to Okorafor not doing anything illegally. And now, there is no fine to assert that fact.
Okorafor will serve as the Steelers’ starting right tackle tomorrow against the New York Jets. He’s played well this year and been among the team’s most consistent offensive linemen. He and the Steelers won’t see the Browns again until Week 18, the regular season finale. We’ll see if Cleveland is still talking about the play by then.
Through three games, no Steeler has been fined for a play this season.
Browns’ DE Myles Garrett was fined for a hit on QB Mitch Trubisky in the third quarter of the game.