Buy Or Sell: Somebody Other Than Ray-Ray McCloud Will Be Third Receiver While Claypool Is Out

The regular season marks the culmination of an extensive investigation into who your team will be that year. By this point, you’ve gone through free agency, the draft, training camp, and the preseason. You feel good in your decisions insofar as you can create clarity without having played meaningful games. But there are still plenty of uncertainties that remain, whether at the start of the regular season or the end, and new ones continually develop over time.

That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).

The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.

Topic Statement: Somebody other than Ray-Ray McCloud will be the third wide receiver in terms of snaps played while Chase Claypool is out.

Explanation: With Claypool dealing with a week-to-week toe injury, the wide receiver group behind Diontae Johnson and James Washington consists of McCloud and Cody White on the 53-man roster, as well as Steven Sims, Anthony Miller, and Tyler Vaughns on the practice squad.


Miller is the most veteran player in the group in terms of offensive production, and was on a team earlier this year before being signed to the Steelers’ practice squad. He has already seemed to hint via social media that the plan is for his number to be called.

Most likely, the Steelers will call upon a variety of personnel, including non-wide receivers, to work on replacing Claypool’s snaps within the offense. Now that they have guys like Sims and Miller, who were not with the team in the Summer, up to speed, it’s more realistic to be able to call upon them than it would have been earlier in the year.


Like it or not, McCloud plays. He was on the final drive on Monday night catching passes even after fumbling that punt. He’s played 123 snaps on offense over the course of the past four weeks since JuJu Smith-Schuster’s injury. That’s not suddenly going to change.

In fact, McCloud has already played more on offense this season than he did all of last year, or than he did in either of his first two seasons in the league. He is likely to cross 200 offensive snaps played this Sunday against the Detroit Lions. Chemistry counts, and he and Ben Roethlisberger do have over a year together.

And it’s not like he hasn’t made any impact plays. He is also an effective gadget player, which is more significant in Matt Canada’s offense. We will probably see more of those sorts of things due to the injuries we are discussing.

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