Steel City Underground presents "Steelers Throwback Thursday" featuring plays and stories from past seasons which you may have forgotten about! Now we're "bringing them back!"
Fullbacks aren't supposed to be able to... insert something other than block...
With the recent release of Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix, I was reminded of likely his biggest offensive play of his career in a black and gold jersey and wanted to celebrate it.
That play came during a Week 14 primetime rivalry game when the Steelers faced the Baltimore Ravens in 2017. The Steelers hadn't swept their division foe since 2008 but were knocking on the door with an earlier win at Baltimore in Week 4, seven-straight wins, and a 10-2 record.
Yet, all of those things were in jeopardy as the Steelers were trailing the Ravens by eight points with 10:29 left in the game. Pittsburgh's offense quickly marched down the field, and within four plays, they were on the Raven's doorstep.
A pass interference call pushed Pittsburgh up to the doorknob, setting the line-of-scrimmage at the Baltimore one-yard line.
That's when, in a familiar formation, an odd occurrence happened: instead of running the ball with the big bodies in the game, Ben Roethlisberger held kept the pigskin and scanned the field for an open player... and scanned... and scanned...
In typical Big Ben fashion, he held onto the ball for what seemed like forever, as Steelers Nation held their breath for that big play that would bring their team back.
And then Roethlisberger found his man:
The black and gold jersey he sought out was none other than Nix, a fullback who had only caught four passes in his entire three-year career up to that point - and hadn't caught one all season until, this huge catch on Sunday Night Football: his first and only touchdown catch of his career as well.
Nix' unexpected contribution helped Pittsburgh come from behind to defeat Baltimore 39-38, which also meant the Steelers swept the season series.
It was likely this catch which also propelled Nix to his first Pro Bowl selection, as an alternate replacing the Patriots James Develin weeks later.
The circumstances around Nix' release are unknown, but he struggled to stay healthy and get on the field in 2019, eventually being placed on the injured reserve list. His spot on the roster became expendable at the start of free agency for the 2020 league year, as the Steelers came to terms with free agent fullback Derek Watt, formerly of the Chargers.
We wish Rosie well in his future endeavors and will never forget his time in the Steel City.