The Pittsburgh Steelers conclude their 2021 NFL preseason on Friday when visiting the Carolina Panthers. Pittsburgh is 3-0 in the preseason following its 26-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Saturday. Ben Roethlisberger played for the first time this season and led Pittsburgh's first team to two touchdowns. Roethlisberger passed for 137 yards and two touchdowns which both touchdown passes to tight end Pat Freiermuth.
Pittsburgh is likely to use both its first teams on both sides of the ball Friday in the final game of the preseason versus Carolina. Expect to see plenty of rookie Najee Harris in the Steelers offensive backfield after the former Alabama star had six touches for 63 yards in his debut against the Lions. This was the first game that Roethlisberger has played for new offensive coordinator Matt Canada who was promoted from quarterbacks coach.
Carolina is 0-2 following its 20-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday. Sam Darnold appeared for the first time at quarterback for the Panthers but only played one series of seven plays but is expected to see plenty of action on Friday against the Steelers. Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey did not play but will play on Friday versus Pittsburgh.
Will Grier, who is battling with PJ Walker for the backup job behind Darnold, passed for 144 yards while Walker completed just one of eight passes for eight yards. The Panthers will look to work on their red zone offense on Friday against Pittsburgh if they get the opportunity as the Panthers have scored only one touchdown on seven trips to the red zone. Terrace Marshall Jr. continues to play well for Carolina as the rookie caught a 34-yard pass and finished with 50 yards receiving.