Why would any of us be surprised by Mike Wallace not playing in the meaningless season finale at home against Cleveland? Wallace has been for the most part as listless as the entire offense this season. Oh sure, he had an occasional big catch as he did against the Giants this season but far too often he was seen whining for pass interference calls with more energy than he actually gave in going for balls thrown towards him.
Wallace is indeed out this weekend with a ‘hip issue’ that will incredibly prevent him from playing. My guess is that this is the same mindset he and his agent had in the preseason where Wallace did not participate until after the final preseason game. He didn’t want to get hurt in the preseason because he didn’t want to potentially lose out on a chance at “Larry Fitzgerald” money.
This is the same situation and I think the Steelers are just going to oblige him and let him go on his merry way. Can you imagine if Wallace played Sunday and blew a knee out? I get it, the NFL has short careers and players need to take advantage of every dime they can get but if Wallace is really hurt then Jennifer Aniston is stalking me right now too.
Wallace provides this offense a deep threat that few other teams have and will the Steelers miss that if he indeed goes as expected? Absolutely they will, but I think we have to take into account another factor here as well. I really don’t care what anyone else tells me, he has had a negative effect on both his fellow ‘young money crew’ members and the locker room in general. Both Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders made very uncharacteristic miscues this season and to me that means a lack of discipline and attention to detail. Those things are very similar to the way Wallace plays at times.
The fans have grown tired of Wallace’s attitude and pouting behavior when he doesn’t get the ball. Perhaps instead of worrying about getting ‘Larry Fitzgerald money’ he should take a lesson from Fitzgerald instead. No one suffered more from the quarterback debacle in Arizona than did Fitzgerald and as frustrated as he must have been, he never aired his issues publicly and handled the situation as classy as anyone could. Of course his father took a different route but still….
I recall watching Mike Wallace as a rookie in training camp in 2009. I couldn’t help but think of how good the kid could be as burned by DB’s and made great, hustling plays. Apparently things have changed over the last few years for Wallace and other things have become more important to him.
If this is indeed his last game in Pittsburgh, it just seems all too fitting for him to be in sweats on the sidelines while his teammates battle for the one thing Wallace lacks……. Pride.