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Heyward wins AFC Defensive Player of the Week

Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night.

Heyward helped lead a defensive performance that held the Raiders to only 10 points in the Steelers 13-10 win.

Heyward had seven tackles, three of them for a loss, two sacks and one pass defensed. He was the only AFC defender to record multiple sacks in Week 16.

Heyward joked his performance was because he got a nap, coming into the game well-rested.

"Got a little nap in the middle of the day," said Heyward. "Kids weren't jumping too much on me. Got to wrap some presents when I get home.

"I think for me it was just we're still in the hunt. We just got to take it one game at a time. But I like to think we just keep getting better and better as the weeks go on."

Heyward also was a leader for the Steelers on an emotional night, coming out of the locker room during player introductions carrying a No. 32 flag to honor the late Franco Harris, whose jersey was retired at halftime.

"I think for us it was just a tip of a cap to not only just a Steelers legend, but a great man, a person in this the community who you could always count on, a guy that even when he retired, he still wanted to be your teammate," said Heyward. "I can say from my time being here, Franco was welcoming me with open arms. It was -- with everything building up to this and getting the chance to talk to Franco, I think there are so many joyous moments we've had with him, and it hurt so many in this community to lose a guy like that.

"But you knew he lived a full life, and you knew he was loved by so many people. There are so many outstanding men that love him, Mean Joe (Greene), Mel Blount, countless others, Terry Bradshaw. They talk to Mike T, myself, Najee Harris. Decades and decades go on, but we still cared for a man that brought so much to us.

"To just say that we loved him, we'll continue to love him, and we appreciate all that's done for us."

This is the third time Heyward has won Defensive Player of the Week honors, previously doing so in Weeks 4 and 12 in 2017. He is the third Steelers player to win it this season, joining Minkah Fitzpatrick (Week 1) and Alex Highsmith (Week 10).

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