Veteran special teams coach Danny Smith, a fixture with the Steelers for nearly a decade, faced another formidable challenge during the recent game against the Green Bay Packers. The incident, which unfolded on the sideline after the Steelers secured victory, ranks among the most painful encounters in Smith’s extensive career, according to his statement on Thursday.
Smith, now 70 years old, disclosed that he suffered a significant injury during the game—specifically, a tear in his right rotator cuff at three distinct points. The seasoned coach is set to undergo surgery to address the damage.
Reflecting on his storied career, Smith acknowledged the physical toll he has endured over the years. He emphasized the need to learn how to avoid such collisions, stating, “I’ve been hit a lot and been hit hard. I got a lot of metal in my body over that. I got to learn to get the hell out of the way.”
This recent injury occurred when Packers offensive lineman Zach Tom delivered a late hit on Steelers safety Damontae Kazee after an interception that sealed the game. The collision sent Kazee crashing into Smith, causing him to land on his right shoulder. The impact left Smith’s shoulder numb, rendering him unable to stand up.
Amidst the chaos near the Steelers bench, tight end Rodney Williams came to Smith’s aid, lifting him up and removing him from the fray. Williams described the scene, stating, “I just saw him on the ground, and he couldn’t get up, and I saw everybody coming over. So, I just picked him up, tried to carry him out, make sure he was all good.”
Despite the severity of the injury, Smith, known for his constant gum-chewing habit, managed to retain the piece in his mouth throughout the collision. Williams, who assisted in Smith’s removal from the field, marveled at this, saying, “I looked at him. He was still chewing it. I don’t know how he was able to do that, but yeah, he was good.”