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Steelers' Vance McDonald Ruled Out vs. Cardinals After Suffering Concussion

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 25:  Vance McDonald #89 of the Pittsburgh Steelers warms up before a game against the Tennessee Titans during week three of preseason at Nissan Stadium on August 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee.  The Steelers defeated the Titans 18-6.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald suffered a concussion in Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

A second-round draft pick in 2013, the 29-year-old spent four generally underwhelming seasons with the San Francisco 49ers before moving on to the Steelers. In 48 games for the Niners, he caught 64 passes for 866 yards and seven touchdowns.

The fact that San Francisco traded McDonald a little over eight months after signing him to a five-year extension speaks to how much he struggled in the Bay Area.

The Rice product didn't do much more in his first year with the Steelers, catching 14 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown in 10 games.

McDonald turned a corner in 2018, though. He finished with 50 receptions for 610 yards and four touchdowns—all of which were career highs—in 15 games.

Taking McDonald out of the mix is a setback for an offense that is trying to figure out how to compensate for Antonio Brown's departure and Ben Roethlisberger's season-ending elbow injury. That process doesn't get easier if the Steelers have to turn to Nick Vannett or fifth-round draft pick Zach Gentry at tight end.