Steelers HC Mike Tomlin says lack of James Washington was a matchups issue

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When word came out that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was headed to the IR, the first thought was how great this opportunity would be for wide receiver James Washington to step into his role and flourish.

Instead, we saw Washington get eight reps last week against the Seattle Seahawks while Ray-Ray McCloud get 52. This raised a lot of confusion among fans and when head coach Mike Tomlin talked about it on Tuesday, he offered the bizarre excuse of matchups as the reason why.

If we assume Washington is fully healthy, I’m not sure what the matchup was the Steelers wanted to use McCloud to do take advantage of. McCloud was targeted twice and caught two passes for 18 yards. By contrast, Washington had one reception for nine yards on one target. McCloud used six times as many reps to catch one more pass.

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