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Vance McDonald feels bad about Chris Conte being mocked over stiff-arm

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Vance McDonald showed empathy this week for Chris Conte over a play from Monday’s game in which he viciously stiff-armed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety en route to a long touchdown run.

Conte was incessantly mocked on social media immediately upon McDonald strolling into the end zone on a 75-yard touchdown run. And the online ridicule continued well after the Steelers came out with a much-needed victory.

And now, McDonald feels somewhat bad for how he played a role in Conte’s very public humiliation.

“I actually had time this morning thinking of it in the training room while I was getting ready for the day,” McDonald said this week, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I was thinking, ‘Man, he’s got to walk across the field and to be on the other side of something like that is obviously not the place you want to be.’ Outside of the game situation and atmosphere, I feel for him. We all have those kind of plays in football.”

Adding a layer to the entire saga that somewhat helps explain how Conte was victimized so severely by the stiff-arm was how he was playing on a torn PCL and arguably should not even have suited up for the game.

Conte was subsequently placed on injured reserve by the Bucs Tuesday. It’s a real shame Conte’s dedication to the team by playing through a serious injury is behind how he’ll forever be associated with such an embarrassing play.