McDonald announced his retirement from the NFL on Friday. The 30-year-old caught 15 of 20 targets for 99 yards in 14 contests for the Steelers during 2020 to cap off an eight-year NFL career. McDonald split said his time in the league between San Francisco and Pittsburgh, catching 181 passes for 2,036 yards and 15 touchdowns in 101 career games.
McDonald brought in five of his six targets for 33 yards in Sunday's 24-22 loss to Cleveland. McDonald saw a season-high six targets Sunday with Eric Ebron on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the regular-season finale. He was much more productive after totaling just five yards over the previous five weeks, but he still finished with a disappointing regular season. The 30-year-old missed two games, but his production has steadily declined over the past two years. McDonald was targeted just 20 times during the regular season, tallying 15 receptions for 99 yards. It wouldn't be surprising to see his $5.2 million team option declined during the offseason, and he'll likely see minimal usage during the playoffs this year if Ebron returns to full health.
McDonald hauled in his lone target for five yards in Sunday's 28-24 win over the Colts. McDonald was on the field for a season-high 60 offensive snaps in Pittsburgh's Week 15 loss after Eric Ebron exited the contest in the first half. However, McDonald logged just 16 offensive snaps against Indianapolis as Ebron returned to the field Week 16. The 30-year-old has been targeted just three times over the past five weeks, and his reception Sunday was his first since Week 9.
McDonald was not targeted on 60 offensive snaps during Monday night's 27-17 loss to the Bengals. The veteran tight end broke 65 percent of the offensive snap share for the first time this season, garnering a whopping 92 percent of the workload against division rival Cincinnati. Eric Ebron's first-half exit, caused by a back injury, led to the massive uptick in usage for McDonald, but the 30-year-old still went without a reception for a fourth consecutive outing. His best performance came by way of a three-catch, 35-yard effort in Week 3, but McDonald has otherwise not exceeded 15 receiving yards in a game this season. He also remains without a touchdown after scoring three times in 2019.
McDonald failed to secure either of his two targets in Sunday's 26-15 loss to the Bills. McDonald's snap count has been relatively consistent in the three weeks since he returned from the reserve/COVID-19 list, but he's been targeted just twice during that time. Even while Eric Ebron has struggled with drops recently, McDonald has been unable to carve out a significant role within the pass-heavy Pittsburgh offense. The 30-year-old has recorded just nine receptions for 61 yards over 11 games this year.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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