Steelers T Alejandro Villanueva Lost 20 Pounds Due To Recent Illness

Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Alejandro Villanueva certainly had a rough game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings and it including him leaving the contest in the first half because of dehydration.

After the game was over, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Villanueva had been sick most of the week ahead of Sunday’s game. On Tuesday, Steelers guard Ramon Foster revealed a little more about Villanueva’s Week 2 illness during his interview on 93.7 The Fan.

Foster said Tuesday morning that Villanueva was so sick that he couldn’t keep anything down over the weekend and that the left tackle lost close to 20 pounds as a result.

When Villanueva left Sunday’s game he was replaced at left tackle by Chris Hubbard. He did, however, have to return to the game in the second half when right tackle Marcus Gilbert was sidelined because of cramping.

In total, Villanueva played 53 of a possible 74 offensive snaps in the Steelers Sunday win over the Vikings. He gave up one sack during the game along with a few pressures and was also flagged once for a false start.

Here’s to hoping that Villanueva will be over his illness this week and is able to put that weight on that he lost as well. The Steelers will play the Chicago Bears on Sunday at Soldier Field.

  • Lukesaenz


  • Ed Smith

    One tough dude! He earns a pass on the play this past weekend. That puts everything into perspective.

  • Lil Smitty

    To drop 20 pounds that fast had to make him weak. I am not sure how strong he can be next week. If he is over the illness, he should be better even if he isn’t 100%. I am amazed they even started him.

  • razaard2

    Well that takes him out of the losers list I expect for the fans that were complaining about his play.
    I dunno why the coaches started him tho. Hubbard is no scrub, big Al should have be given a day off

  • NCSteel

    Bad for him,
    He needs that weight for strength and effectiveness.
    I, on the other hand, need to drop 20. Send it here Alejandro

  • Douglas Andrews

    Give that man an IV! that’s some serious weight loss i’m surprised he even played.

  • Michael

    When you’re sick, even a half step slower or dizzy head would get you beat — that said, SPEED RECOVERY to you, A.V.!

  • Michael

    Big guy had to play due to crap pre-season by Hawkins, his back up.

  • Ray

    No one should be surprised. This was probably a cake walk. He was an Army Ranger. Playing football sick is probably a lot easier than half the stuff that man has had to do for this country

  • pittfan

    That’s a ton of lbs in a short period of time. Much of it water I’m sure so re-hydrating will help. But still….I struggle to lose 5 lbs a month!

  • pittfan

    Let’s split it!

  • VaDave

    I’m sure there are a lot of us that could use that “illness”… I’ve been sitting at a buck 80 from 210 with about 7-10 more to go for over 6 months….

  • treeher

    It’s not as if he is a slim jim after losing the weight. Maybe keeping some of it off will help his quickness.

  • Grant Humphrey

    Agreed man.

  • Grant Humphrey

    He also was going up against Everson Griffen who is a very good pass rusher.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Hubbard would be the next man up. He’s the swing tackle but I believe the fact that Big Al played speaks to the type of player he is

  • Andrew

    Hawkins was hurt and wasnt even active…his backup was Hubbard.

  • RMSteeler

    I can’t even imagine how bad it was to play with flu like symptoms and dehydrated. Most players couldn’t do it.

  • JNick

    To be honest most of that 20lbs was probably water loss. That’s just over 2 gallons of fluid. If he ws vomiting up everything and dehydrated, I’m willing to bet that was it. It’s almost humanly impossible to lose true weight, especially that much, in days. But that does explain his performance on Sunday. Dehydration with likely low energy stores. He was behind the eight ball every snap, going against and all pro DE.

  • Zarbor

    Not only was he sick but he had to go against one of the betters pass rushers this past Sunday.
    That’s why some folks need to pump their breaks on being critical on Alejandro. Him and the whole o-line haven’t been great but they are getting there.

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    I’m not gonna lie, I was pretty disappointed with Villy’s play. This makes me give him a pass. Guy is tough but we already knew that, most players I don’t think would’ve been able to play let alone that well against that D Line

  • colingrant

    That might not be a bad thing (losing 20lbs)

  • Conserv_58

    Thanks, Dave. This report sheds a bright light on why AV’s level of play wasn’t up to his usual standards. I certainly gives us fans a greater understanding, appreciation, respect and admiration for he was going through leading up to the game. I know that if the vast majority of us fans were that sick we wouldn’t get out of bed, let alone go to work.

  • 20lbs in a week is no joke.

  • Conserv_58

    I remember being that sick once in my life and I never want to experience that again. I give AV the utmost respect for what he did because there was no way I could have gotten myself to get out of bed, let alone go to work.

  • Conserv_58

    No doubt. Knowing that he lost that much weight, that fast and was still sick on game day, there was no way that he was ready to play.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    jeus. i remember losing 20 lbs in a week when i had cancer. its not fun.

  • Conserv_58

    Apparently the whole OL was sick during the week leading up to the game. AV seemed to suffer the most. I wonder if they had drunk the water in Cleveland.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    it is the factory of sadness.

  • Edjhjr

    So he was feeling that bad , lost 20lb, reported heart problems, and went back into the game??????

    First, we needed to have a guy in that condition playing? We don’t have a back up?

    But you get your bell rung you are out a week or 2?


  • Edjhjr

    He must be an Army guy.

    I salute him for service above and beyond.

  • Darth Blount 47

    I always tell people that the quickest and most surefire way to lose a bunch of weight fast, is to lick a bus seat. A subway pole. A hospital elevator button. Or a dollar bill. And just sit back and wait for the pounds to roll off.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Everyone was crucifying him on here. Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Whenever someone is sick, you have to give them a pass. I’m surprised he did as well as he did honestly.

  • Bradshaw

    OK, let’s be real. This isn’t as severe as it sounds. It wasn’t the loss of 20 pounds that impacted his play, it was the illness.

    Not be too graphic but at least half of that weight loss was him clearing out is day-to-day bowels (poo). If he had not still been sick, I’m pretty sure he would have actually felt great (carrying around less poo) and might have even played better than usual.

  • Conserv_58

    You are indeed warped… in a good way, mind you.

  • Conserv_58

    I recommend sexercise. The only exercise routine I never need extra motivation to do.

  • Conserv_58

    You are correct there, good sir.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Take care big AL. We appreciate your effort. You are one of our heroes.

  • Zarbor

    I would not put anything past Greg Williams

  • Zarbor

    Shame someone put him on the losers list for the game…..

  • LucasY59

    water weight as well, the “medical” reason for why he was out of the game was dehydration, so I agree he should put most of the weight back on quickly

  • LucasY59

    pretty sure before the sickness that AV was at his ideal playing weight, the guy is 6’9″ he has the frame to carry over 300lbs well, so losing that amount of weight (that fast) is not a good thing, especially when he was still sick during the game

  • colingrant

    No question, weight loss from sickness isn’t a good thing. Whether his weight previous to his illness was ideal or not, I’m not so sure. I was thinking even before this game, he might be well served by dropping a few. His frame is massive, and easily carries a lot of weight, but I’m not sure it’s ideal when playing against 250-260lbs speed rushers when sliding and nimbleness is paramount. Left tackle has him going up against the league’s premier rushers, and increased foot quickness from being lighter might work for him.

  • LucasY59

    the team had him gain a lot of weight the 1st yr he was with the team
    (practice squad) iirc he went from 260ish to 330ish, if they wanted him to stop at 300 they wouldve, I would guess that they thought he was still athletic enough at that weight but could also anchor and have power (for run blocking) I am not too worried about his weight (unless he is losing a lot of it quickly due to illness)