The Pittsburgh Steelers traded away wide receiver Chase Claypool on Tuesday and with him now out of the picture it now likely opens up a great opportunity for wide receiver Steven Sims to show what he has on offense in the team’s final nine games of the 2022 regular season. In fact, it sounds like there’s a good chance that sims will be the Steelers primary slot wide receiver with Claypool now no longer with the team and with rookie wide receiver Calvin Austin III remaining on the Reserve/Injured list.
According to Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson on Wednesday, Sims spent a lot of time during Wednesday’s practice in the slot role a lot. According to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Johnson expects Sims to be good at that position.
“He’s been making plays when called upon, and I think based on what we’ve seen, it’s reasonable to expect that to continue,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said of Sims on Wednesday, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
While Sims has been with the Steelers going on two seasons now, he’s only logged 25 offensive snaps since originally joining the team in September of 2021. To date, Sims has all of two receptions for a loss of one yard on three total targets as a member of the Steelers.
While Sims hasn’t done much of anything as an offensive player since joining the Steelers, he did show some nice glimpses in his previous two seasons with the Washington Commanders. In total, Sims registered 61 receptions for 575 yards and five touchdowns during the combined 2019 and 2020 seasons. He also had 10 rushes for 103 yards and a touchdown in those two seasons.
So, what about slot experience for Sims in Washington? Yes, he played that position and plenty as well. According to Sports Info Solutions, Sims registered 44 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns on 70 total targets out of the slot during the 2019 and 2020 seasons. They do have him down for six total drops, however. Additionally, 153 of those 395 receiving yards out of the slot came after the catch.
Now that the Steelers have completed their Wednesday practice the team will be off through the weekend as the team has a bye this week. They should be back at again on Monday to continue readying themselves to play the New Orleans saints at Acrisure Stadium a week from Sunday. Based on what we know at this point, expect Sims to be the team’s primary slot wide receiver for that contest.
Simms is also expected to continue to be the team’s top return-man moving forward as well. He has had that job for several weeks now and has performed well in that role to boot.