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Javon Hargrave ‘Probably Extra Amped Up’ To Play Steelers, Teammate Says After Big Game

A wide assortment of things went wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers last night, as it tends to do when you lose by several possessions. That they happened to be facing one of the best players that they allowed to get away from them in recent years was but a small factor.

But former 2016 draft pick Javon Hargrave didn’t go without making his presence felt along the defensive line for his Philadelphia Eagles, sacking Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett twice, once forcing a fumble that they lost. Oh, he also had eight tackles on the day. He was pretty good. He’s been pretty good since he was drafted. And he’s able to play to his full potential in the Eagles’ 4-3.

“He was really good. He came out and he attacked the day. He was probably extra amped up to play Pittsburgh”, teammate Fletcher Cox told reporters after the game, via transcript. “The last time we went to them, I don’t think it sat very well with him and it didn’t sit very well with any of us. We keep stuff like that in the back of our heads. Guys flew around, he flew around and had a big game and made some plays. I’m excited for him”.

Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Eagles in 2020, now in his third (and perhaps final) year with the team. The Steelers had to make a difficult decision about his future, knowing that his best fit was in a 4-3 front, and of course they also had Cameron Heyward and Stephon Tuitt as the stalwarts along the defensive front already.

The sad end to Tuitt’s playing career certainly couldn’t have been foreseen, and the Steelers must be excused for not predicting the turn that would take, but hindsight certainly hasn’t been kind to the organization.

It has been to Hargrave, however, who earned his first Pro Bowl nod in 2021 after registering career-highs in sacks, tackles, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits. His two sacks yesterday against the Steelers give him three for the season, with 10 more games to play.

Cox did reference “the last time”, which would be in 2020. The Steelers played the Eagles back in Week 5, and that was the game that then-rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool broke out with four touchdowns in a 38-29 Steelers’ win, a game in which they never trailed.

The Eagles’ defense did not play particularly well in that game, as you might imagine, though Hargrave personally had a solid game with four tackles, half a sack, and a quarterback hit. Yesterday, perhaps, he exorcised some demons.

As Cox alluded to, it is possible Hargrave has some lingering feelings about his former team. Other notable players in the past such as Emmanuel Sanders did as well. Perhaps he felt the Steelers should have been willing to pay him his market value. We don’t know what the team communicated to him, but some may infer accordingly based on his post-game Instagram post:

 

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A post shared by Javon Hargrave (@grave_digger97)

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