Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wr Moncrief Benched vs. 49ers

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Wr Moncrief Benched vs. 49ers

Article excerpt

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Has Donte Moncrief played his final game in a Steelers uniform?

That certainly seems like a possibility after the Steelers benched him in just his third game with his new team. The Steelers started the season with high hopes for Moncrief, but after he dropped four passes in the first two games, coach Mike Tomlin deactivated him for the 49ers game Sunday afternoon at Levi's Stadium.

Moncrief, who signed a two-year, $9 million free-agent deal in March, had three catches for 7 yards in losses to the Patriots and Seahawks. His dropped pass on his only target last week resulted in an interception that set up the Seahawks' go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter.

The Steelers could cut Moncrief during the season. If they did that they would be responsible for paying $5 million of his $9 million deal, according to Spotrac.com. They also would absorb a dead cap hit of $3.25 million for this season and $1.75 million next season.

Tight end trouble

Tight end Vance McDonald, playing his first game against his former team, left the game in the second quarter with an injured shoulder and did not return.

McDonald appeared to be injured trying to catch a high pass on the third play of the second quarter. That forced the Steelers to use Xavier Grimble as their only tight end. Grimble had one catch for 2 yards.

Fast start for 49ers

The 49ers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998. "That's good but it doesn't mean anything," said Kyle Shanahan, the third-year head coach who now is 13-22.

"I've been 5-0 and not made the playoffs before, so it doesn't mean much, but to win two games that really didn't go that well for us, Tampa and today against Pittsburgh, I think that says a lot about the character of the guys in there."

The 1998 49ers went 12-4 but lost in the divisional playoff round when Steve Young threw three interceptions at Atlanta. …

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