Sun Nov 10 8:21pm ET
By WILL GRAVES
AP Sports Writer
Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, left, celebrates with Mark Barron (26) after Fitzpatricks touchdown following the recovery of a fumble by Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington (13) celebrates his touchdown catch with Diontae Johnson (18) during the first half of an NFL football game against the LoLos Angeles Rams in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Don Wright)
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver James Washington, right, celebrates his touchdown catch with Diontae Johnson (18) during the first half of the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) is hit by Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) after getting off a pass during the first half of an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Los Angeles Rams defensive end Dante Fowler (56) celebrates his touchdown on a fumble recovery during the first half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
PITTSBURGH (AP) The Steelers defense spoiled Aaron Donald's homecoming and derailed the Los Angeles Rams' momentum in the process.
The Steelers forced four turnovers - including a 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick - in an ugly 17-12 victory on Sunday that pushed their winning streak to four games and dealt the Rams' chances of chasing down Seattle and San Francisco in the NFC West a serious blow.
Donald, a Pittsburgh native, sacked the Steelers' Mason Rudolph for a safety in his first appearance in his hometown since the Rams took him in the first round of the 2014 draft.
Linebacker Dante Fowler scored Los Angeles' lone touchdown on a 25-yard fumble return on the second snap of the game. But the Rams' offense did little against a Steelers defense that has become the team's identity after losing Ben Roethlisberger to a season-ending right elbow injury in Week 2.
Jared Goff completed 22 of 40 passes for 243 yards, none of them to leading receiver Cooper Kupp. The Rams (5-4) converted just 1 of 14 third downs and came up empty on a pair of last-gasp drives in the final two minutes. Goff's fourth-down heave to the end zone intended for Josh Reynolds fell incomplete with 1:25 to go. Los Angeles got the ball back with 59 seconds to play but Goff's pass to Robert Woods was tipped.
Fitzpatrick ran underneath it for the game-sealing interception and seventh takeaway since the Steelers acquired him from Miami in September for a 2020 first-round pick.
At the moment, it looks like draft capital well spent.
Rudolph completed 22 of 38 passes for 242 yards with a touchdown, stats that would have been considerably better if not for a handful of drops that prevented the Steelers (5-4) from gaining any sort of traction for long stretches.
Rudolph became the ninth quarterback since the 1970 merger to throw a touchdown in each of his first seven games when he found James Washington for a 3-yard score in the first quarter, but the Steelers once again relied on their defense to move over .500 for the first time this season.
The Steelers managed just 15 turnovers in 2018. They have produced 26 through nine games in 2019, helping them stay afloat following a 1-4 start while Rudolph and the offense searches for solid footing.
WHAT THE HEKKER?
Los Angeles coach Sean McVay is known for his innovative thinking, but his aggressiveness nearly cost the Rams in the third quarter. Los Angeles was facing fourth-and-1 at Rams 29 trailing 14-7.
The Rams lined up to punt before fanning out, with Hekker moving up into the shotgun formation. Hekker, who had a 23-yard completion earlier in the season and came in 12 of 20 for 179 yards with a touchdown in his career, was hit as he threw and the pass was picked off by Pittsburgh's Trey Edmunds, a running back by trade.
The Steelers, however, were unable to take advantage of the great field position. A penalty, a sack and a dropped pass pushed Pittsburgh out of field-goal range.
Rams: Center Brian Allen left in the first quarter with a knee issue and did not return. DB Darious Williams left with an ankle problem.
Steelers: Wide receiver Ryan Switzer left in the fourth quarter with a back injury.
Rams: Host the Chicago Bears (4-5) next Sunday night.
Steelers: Travel to Cleveland to play the Browns (3-6) on Thursday. Pittsburgh is 7-0-1 in its past eight meetings with Cleveland.
Denver Broncos tight end Noah Fant was carted off the field in Week 14's game against the Houston Texans. The rookie suffered a foot injury and was taken to the locker room on a cart but was later seen returning to the sideline, also on the cart. With the Broncos up 38-17 in the fourth quarter, there's no reason to rush Fant back into the game. Before leaving, he'd caught four passes for 113 yards and a touchdown.
Miami Dolphins wide receivers Devante Parker (concussion) and Albert Wilson (concussion) have both been ruled out for Sunday's game at the Jets. Parker had two catches for 28 yards before being evaluated for a concussion and Wilson had just one catch for five yards. The Dolphins will update the status of each after the game but both are question marks for next week. Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford are the leading receivers for Miami with tight end Mike Gesicki also expected to see more usage if Parker were to miss time.
New England Patriots WR Mohamed Sanu (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.
Fantasy Spin: Sanu has had one good game since joining the Patriots but has been dealing with the ankle injury. He should see a solid amount of targets and can be a No. 3 receiver or flex option in fantasy leagues.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston (hand) suffered a right hand injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation to see if Winston will miss an extended period of time because of the injury. Ryan Griffin would take over the starting job if Winston is sidelined but should be avoided in fantasy leagues.
Atlanta Falcons CB Desmond Trufant (forearm) suffered a forearm injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Detroit Lions DT A'Shawn Robinson (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Auden Tate was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with an apparent ankle injury. Tate went down awkwardly on his ankle in the third quarter after making a catch, and while he was able to walk off the field under his own power, he was soon after walking to the locker room with his gloves and helmet off. There has been no official announcement yet, but Tate looked doubtful to return at best. Before getting hurt, he made one catch for 16 yards on four targets.
New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (shoulder) is officially active for the team's Week 14 game.
Fantasy Spin: Edelman continues to be the main option in the passing game for the Patriots and will see plenty of targets this week. He is a must-start option in all leagues.
New Orleans Saints tight end Jared Cook (concussion) has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game with the 49ers. Cook took a hit to the head that was flagged for targeting a defenseless receiver while coming down with his second touchdown of the day. Cook was evaluated for a possible head injury and has been ruled out according to the team's Twitter account. Josh Hill is now listed as the team's starting tight end but he won't have any fantasy relevance. Expect Taysom Hill to play the role of tight end for New Orleans near the goal line.
Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice has been ruled out for the remainder of Week 14's game against the Green Bay Packers. Guice exited due to a knee injury and was immediately labeled as questionable to return. Not much later, he was ruled out for the rest of the contest. Before being forced to leave, Guice ran the ball five times for an explosive 42 yards. With all of Guice's previous knee issues, this is of course something to keep an eye on heading into Week 15 as well. Adrian Peterson will carry the load for Washington on the ground for as long as Guice is out.
The Oakland Raiders have declared LB Kyle Wilber, WR Hunter Renfrow, CB Isaiah Johnson, DL Terrell McClain, QB Mike Glennon, OG Trent Brown and RB Josh Jacobs inactive for Week 14.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have declared CB Artie Burns, QB Paxton Lynch, LB Tuzar Skipper, RB James Conner, OT Chukwuma Okorafor, TE Zach Gentry and WR JuJu Smith-Schuster inactive for Week 14.
The Kansas City Chiefs have declared QB Chad Henne, CB Rashad Fenton, RB Damien Williams, OT Jackson Barton, CB Morris Claiborne, TE Deon Yelder and OG Nick Allegretti inactive for Week 14.
Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has been ruled out for week 14 vs Tennessee. Jacobs was attempting to play through a broken shoulder plate but was ruled out after testing his shoulder with trainers during pregame warmups. Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington would likely split work in Jacobs' absence with Richard having more fantasy relevance thanks to his role in the passing game.
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints TE Jared Cook (concussion) suffered a concussion during the Week 14 game and will not return.
Fantasy Spin: Cook will need to pass all of the concussion tests before he is cleared to play, so his status for Week 15 is uncertain. Josh Hill would be the main tight end for the Saints if Cook misses time and could be a low-end No. 1 tight end in deeper leagues.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (knee) suffered a knee injury during the Week 14 game and is considered doubtful to return.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to keep an eye on the situation since Andrews has been one of the better tight ends in the NFL. Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle would see more targets if Andrew misses any time and could be starting options in some leagues.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DT Carl Davis, DB Ronnie Harrison, TE Seth DeValve, CB Tae Hayes, QB Joshua Dobbs, OT Brandon Thomas and DT Dontavius Russell inactive for Week 14.
The Los Angeles Chargers have declared LB Denzel Perryman, OG Spencer Drango, DB Tevaughn Campbell, DL Jerry Tillery, QB Easton Stick, OT Trey Pipkins and S Roderic Teamer inactive for Week 14.
Washington Redskins CB Quinton Dunbar (hamstring) suffered a hamstring injury during the Week 14 game and is considered questionable to return.
Washington Redskins running back Derrius Guice (knee) exited Sunday's game vs the Packers and is being evaluated for a possible knee injury. Guice walked off under his own power, but given his injury history, there's reason to be concerned. The team doctors were looking at his left knee which is the one he injured earlier this season. The Redskins have listed him as questionable to return. Adrian Peterson would see an uptick in carries in Guice's absence.