Cam Heyward Flagged For ‘Pushing And Shoving’ In The Pile According To Official

The Pittsburgh Steelers ‘defense was in good position in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens, surrendering yards on the ground, but were keeping them out of the end zone. However, that changed after an unnecessary roughness penalty was called against the Pittsburgh Steelers on defensive lineman Cameron Heyward at the end of the first half.

The defense went from getting off the field on third down to giving the Ravens a fresh set of downs inside Pittsburgh territory. Not long after the penalty by Heyward, the Ravens connected on a TD strike from QB Tyler Huntley to TE Isaiah Likely, giving the Ravens a seven-point lead at halftime.

When watching the replay, it appears as if Heyward is trying to get out of the pile created with the Ravens’ players at the bottom. However, as he tries to extend away from #72 Ben Powers, #79 Ronnie Stanley pulls Heyward back into the scrum, having him bump into the referee while Heyward attempts to hold his hands up trying to avoid making contact with anyone as he fell into the ref’s lap.

ESPN’s Brooke Pryor tweeted out after the game the pool report with official Land Clark that contact with the official didn’t lead to the flag being thrown, but rather the extra action in the pile after the play led to the penalty being addressed to Heyward.

“Well, there was some pushing and shoving after the play. No. 97 continued to push after the play and that’s why it was called,” Clark said according to Pryor.

So, the penalty wasn’t addressed to Heyward for making contact with the official after being dragged into him by Stanley, but rather Heyward pushing Powers in the pile as he looked to be trying to get out of the fray.

While you could address a flag to Heyward here for shoving powers after the play, this seems like a big reach for an unnecessary roughness call when pushing and shoving after the play in football is quite common. If anything, offsetting penalties should have been given to Heyward and Stanley for making contact after the play if the referees wanted to go there contact post-play.

Regardless, it’s sad and frustrating that Heyward was the victim here on a call that could have drastically changed the game. Thankfully, the Steelers won the game in the waiting moments, keeping their season alive. But for a historically fierce rivalry like Steelers/Ravens to have come to this, it’s not a good look for the league as the referees should be held under the microscope this offseason for some questionable calls regarding the physicality of the game.

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