The Pittsburgh Steelers are shorthanded after an ugly incident against Cleveland on Monday left center Maurkice Pouncey suspended for two games but need to come together to make a run at a playoff spot. The Steelers will try to push above .500 when they visit the winless Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
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Pouncey was handed a suspension by the NFL for his role in a incident between Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph and Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett, leaving an already shaky Steelers offense without one of its anchors. Pittsburgh, which will play four of its final six games on the road, is one game out of the final wild card spot in the AFC and had a four-game winning streak come to an end when it dropped a 21-7 decision at Cleveland on Nov. 14, with the late-game fight providing an extra black eye to the performance. The Bengals haven't had many performances to celebrate this season and own the NFL's lone winless record and pole position for the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. Rookie quarterback Ryan Finley made his second start last week but struggled while going 13-of-31 for 115 yards and an interception in the 17-10 loss to Oakland.
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Steelers -6.5 O/U: 38.5
ABOUT THE STEELERS (5-5): Pittsburgh could be missing one of its best playmakers on offense Sunday with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster unlikely to play while battling a knee injury and trying to recover from a concussion suffered last week. Rudolph put up solid numbers during the four-game winning streak but threw four interceptions against the Browns and the entire offense is feeling the pressure. "We've just got to execute," running back Jaylen Samuels told reporters. "When they send pressure on third down, we just got to pick it up with our pass protection. Guys, receivers got to make tough catches. Mason got to make great throws. Everybody's got to execute. That's the main thing."
ABOUT THE BENGALS (0-10): Cincinnati is 30th in the NFL in scoring at an average of 14.7 points and failed to reach 20 points in any of the last five games. Finley is completing 47.5 percent of his passes with one touchdown and two interceptions through his first two games but figures to hold the starting job the rest of the way as the team checks out a bigger sample size. "There are going to be ups and downs with any young quarterback," Bengals coach Zac Taylor told the team's website. "He didn't go to training camp as the starter. He didn't get starter reps until the last few weeks and I feel we continue to see growth in a lot of different areas with him."
1. Bengals LT Cordy Glenn (concussion) could make his season debut Sunday.
2. Steelers RB James Conner (shoulder) is questionable.
3. Pittsburgh owns a nine-game winning streak in the series, including a 27-3 home victory on Sept. 30 and a playoff win during the 2015 season.
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