Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace will not play in the season finale against the Cleveland Browns according to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and that should not come as a big surprise.
Has Mike Wallace played his last game with Steelers? He will not play vs Browns because of hip/hamstring. 1st game he has missed in career.
— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) December 28, 2012
Wallace, who has failed to practice all week because of a hip injury, will miss his first game since coming into the league and you can bet that he would have played had this been a meaningful game.
This is a business decision as Wallace will be an unrestricted free agent after the season and risking a serious injury on Sunday against the Browns would not be a wise choice for him.
Wallace will end the 2012 season with 64 catches for 836 yards and 8 touchdowns on 119 targets. His final yards per catch number will be 13.1 yards, the lowest of his four years in the league.
Wallace had a season that he surely will want to forget as it was filled with several drops and started with him holding out because he was upset with his restricted free agent status and subsequent contract negotiations. The Steelers former third-round draft pick finally reported to the team after missing all of training camp and you could tell that he was never happy all season with the way that he was used in the new offense of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
Wallace will now likely get his wish and should be able to test free agency baring the Steelers placing the franchise tag on him, which is very unlikely to happen at this point. He will command high dollars once the free agency signing period begins and last week against the Cincinnati Bengals was the last time that he will put on a Steelers uniform.
In his four seasons with the Steelers Wallace recorded 235 catches for 4,042 yards and 32 touchdowns.
With Wallace set to be inactive, Plaxico Burress is set to dress and play in his place after being inactive the last two games. Burress will also be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season and this could very well be his last game in a Steelers uniform as well. Burress has caught one pass for 18 yards since being signed off the street back in late November.