Canadian Chase Claypool hasn’t let the Steelers undefeated start go to his head.
Pittsburgh is the lone remaining team in the National Football League without a loss in 2020. The Steelers beat AFC North rival Baltimore on the road with Claypool scoring the game-winning touchdown in Week 8.
“We can still get knocked out of the playoffs at this point, so we just gotta keep our head on straight and go ahead week to week instead of looking at the big picture and playoffs, it’s too early to do that,” Claypool said.
Following the win against the Ravens, 2019 first-team All-Pro defensive back Marlon Humphrey tested positive for COVID-19. He was one of the cover men Claypool competed against at M&T Bank Stadium. Since it was revealed, the Steelers took extra precautions while preparing to face Dallas in Week 9.
“We’re all wearing masks, we had social-distanced, virtual meetings. The teams itself is taking those precautions. For me it doesn’t change, I’m just practice facility and then back home,” Claypool said after all of the team’s tests from Monday came back negative.
“When you hear the news you want to take the right steps to prevent any further infection. You can’t really think about that during the game, once you do find out you just have to take the right steps necessary.”
Head coach Mike Tomlin, who passed Tony Dungy last week for the most wins by a Black head coach in NFL history with 140, is ensuring his team is as healthy as possible combating the spread of the virus and football-related injuries. Claypool credits the bench boss for his success and ability to feel fresh when game time comes.
“He deserves all the credit in the world because he’s prepared us week in and week out, especially getting the young guys ready. He’s done a really good job not putting too much pressure on us, but letting us know his expectations,” Claypool said.
“We haven’t worn full pads on Thursday’s since training camp. Having a coach that understands how long the season is and the wear and tear on your body, it’s super helpful for getting you through the season and being able to play well in the playoffs.”
Claypool leads the Steelers with 375 receiving yards and seven total touchdowns in seven games while averaging a team-high 16.3 yards per catch. The ultra-athletic Canadian will surely be a focus for the Cowboys’ defence on Sunday.