Steelers notebook: Mike Mitchell fined for helmet-to-helmet hit along with hit on QB
The good news for Mike Mitchell is the fine the NFL levied for hitting Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith was a lot less than had been reported.
The bad news? The league got the Steelers safety for two separate hits during last Sunday's game. And the hit to Mitchell's wallet was greater than initially thought.
ESPN on Wednesday correctly reported Mitchell was fined $48,620. However, it incorrectly identified the low hit on Smith as the reason. The fine was for his unpenalized, helmet-to-helmet hit on Kansas City running back Charcandrick West in the second quarter.
That is the figure for a second offense of helmet-to-helmet. West suffered a concussion on the play and did not play in the Chiefs' Thursday night loss to the Raiders.
The supplementary discipline assessed to Mitchell for the much-discussed incident with Smith came in the form of a $9,115 fine. According to the NFL's fine schedule, that is the fine for the first offense for a late hit.
The $57,735 total Mitchell was fined for plays during Sunday's game represents almost 20 percent of his game check.
And Mitchell wasn't the only Steelers player who is lesser in the wallet because of an incident against the Chiefs. Linebacker Bud Dupree was docked $24,309 for a roughing the passer flag late in the first half (one nullified by an offsetting foul), and running back Le'Veon Bell was fined $12,154 for his excessive celebration penalty following his second-quarter touchdown.
Mitchell said Thursday he would appeal his fine. He has been clear the hit on Smith was unintentional and only the result of an accidental push from teammate Anthony Chickillo. Smith has been highly critical of the play.
Mitchell this week did not publicly address the hit on West. He declined comment Friday.
No Tuitt, Gilbert
Defensive end Stephon Tuitt will not play for the Steelers in Sunday's AFC North showdown against Cincinnati, and it's unlikely right tackle Marcus Gilbert will, either.
Tuitt, the defensive end who was limited to three snaps or fewer in all but three games this season, was officially ruled out because of a back injury.
Although officially listed as doubtful, Gilbert is a long shot to play after he did not practice all week. Gilbert lasted less than one half of Sunday's win in Kansas City when the hamstring injury that kept him out of the prior three games flared up.
Chris Hubbard is the replacement for Gilbert. Tyson Alualu has started in Tuitt's place, with Javon Hargrave picking up much of the slack.
Guard Ramon Foster (back), center Maurkice Pouncey (chest) and backup linebacker Tyler Matakevich (shoulder) were cleared to play Sunday.
Jones doubtful, Boyd out
Cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones (back) did not practice Friday and is officially doubtful to play. It would be only the fourth Bengals game Jones has missed since 2012.
Out for sure are former Pitt and Clairton star Tyler Boyd (knee) and tight end/H-back Ryan Hewitt (knee). Questionable are speedy rookie receiver John Ross (knee) and reserve safety Derron Smith (ankle).
Despite being listed on the official injury report all week, starting cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick will play.