Tyson Alualu’s return buoys undefeated Steelers


Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Tyson Alualu (94) on the sideline during an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Tyson Alualu and the 9-0 Pittsburgh Steelers have continued to turn heads around the NFL.

Although Alualu did not play in Week 9 as he healed from an MCL sprain, the Steelers still squeaked by the struggling Dallas Cowboys 24-19, but his absence was felt. In his Sunday return to the Steelers for Week 10, the Saint Louis and California alum had three tackles (one solo) in a 36-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Alualu remains the Steelers’ second most valuable player on defense according to Pro Football Focus.

Although the Steelers are tied with the New England Patriots with an NFL record six Super Bowl titles, the 2020 season is their first year starting 9-0. Each win puts the Steelers closer to their first playoff appearance since 2017. At 9-0 this season, they’ve already exceeded their 2019 (8-8) win total and matched their 2018 output (9-6-1) with seven games to go in the season. Alualu has been the man in the middle of the defensive line clogging opposing offenses and will remain a crucial part of the Steel Curtain moving forward.

Here are how other players with Hawaii ties during Week 10 of the NFL season:

Active roster

Bradlee Anae, defensive end, Dallas Cowboys (Kahuku): The Cowboys were on bye during Week 10.

DeForest Buckner, defensive tackle, Indianapolis Colts (Punahou): Despite playing on three days’ rest on the road, Buckner was his menacing self against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football with five tackles (three solo) and three quarterback hits in a 34-17 win. At 6-3, the Colts currently lead the AFC South.

Kamalei Correa, outside linebacker, Jacksonville Jaguars (Saint Louis): Correa recorded one tackle in a 24-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Ka’imi Fairbairn, kicker, Houston Texans (Punahou): Fairbairn was 0-for-1 in field goal attempts and 1-for-1 on extra points as the Texans lost 10-7 to the Cleveland Browns.

Alohi Gilman, safety, Los Angeles Chargers (Kahuku): Gilman played on special teams but did not record any statistics in a 29-21 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

Kamu Grugier-Hill, linebacker, Miami Dolphins (Kamehameha): Grugier-Hill was active but did not record any statistics in a 29-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Nate Herbig, guard, Philadelphia Eagles (Saint Louis): Herbig did not play in the Eagles’ 27-17 loss to the New York Giants due to a finger injury. Still, at 3-5-1, the Eagles are alone atop the NFC East standings.

Marcus Mariota, quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders (Saint Louis): Mariota was inactive in the Raiders’ 37-12 win over the Denver Broncos.

Hercules Mata’afa, defensive tackle, Minnesota Vikings (Lahainaluna): Mata’afa had a strong showing in a 19-13 win over the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football with two total tackles, a tackle for loss and two quarterback hits. After starting 1-5, the Vikings are now 4-5 after winning their last three games.

Netane Muti, guard, Denver Broncos (Leilehua): Muti was inactive in the Broncos’ 37-12 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Rigoberto Sanchez, punter, Colts (University of Hawaii): Sanchez punted one time for 46 yards in a 34-17 win over the Tennessee Titans on Thursday. He also held for kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who made both of his field goal attempts and all four of his extra point tries.

Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Miami Dolphins (Saint Louis): Tagovailoa completed 15 of his 25 passes for 169 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in a 29-21 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Jahlani Tavai, linebacker, Detroit Lions (University of Hawaii): Tavai recorded one tackle in a 30-27 win over the Washington Football Team.

Injured reserve 

Keith Kirkwood, receiver, Carolina Panthers (University of Hawaii)

Isaac Seumalo, offensive lineman, Philadelphia Eagles (born in Hawaii)

COVID-19 reserve 

Leo Koloamatangi, offensive lineman, New York Jets (University of Hawaii) 

Practice squad 

Trevor Davis, receiver, Washington Football Team (University of Hawaii)

Breiden Fehoko, defensive tackle, Los Angeles Chargers (Farrington)

Trayvon Henderson, safety, Cincinnati Bengals (University of Hawaii)

Marcus Kemp, receiver, Kansas City Chiefs (University of Hawaii)

Manti Te’o, linebacker, Chicago Bears (Punahou)

John Ursua, receiver, Seattle Seahawks (University of Hawaii)

JoJo Ward, receiver, Arizona Cardinals (University of Hawaii)

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