Steelers assistant tore rotator cuff in sideline hit


Longtime Steelers assistant coach Danny Smith tore his rotator cuff in a sideline collision Sunday in the game between Pittsburgh and the Green Bay Packers.

Smith, 70, has been the Steelers’ special teams coordinator since 2013 and has coached in the high school, college and professional ranks since 1976.

“I’ve been hit a lot, and been hit hard,” Smith told reporters Thursday. “I got a lot of metal in my body over that. I got to learn to get the hell out of the way.”

Smith said he will need surgery to repair his right rotator cuff, torn in three places when he got upended by Steelers safety Damontae Kazee on the final play of Pittsburgh’s 23-19 win.

After he snagged the game-clinching pick against Packers quarterback Jordan Love, Kazee absorbed a late hit from Green Bay offensive lineman Zach Tom and went flying into Smith.

Smith landed on his right shoulder and had trouble getting to his feet as a sideline scrum broke out, so Pittsburgh tight end Rodney Williams scooped him off the turf.

“I just saw him on the ground, and he couldn’t get up and I saw everybody coming over,” Williams said, per ESPN. “So, I just picked him up, tried to carry him out, make sure he was all good. …

“He was trying to scoot out of there, but he couldn’t really move for real, so I just had to get my dog up out of the pile.”

Smith is expected to be back on the sideline Sunday when the Steelers (6-3) visit the Cleveland Browns (6-3) for a big AFC North showdown.