The Pittsburgh Steelers are a healthy team for the first time in Lord knows how long, and the first time in the 2011 calendar year. Sunday marked the first time this season the Steelers were able to get their entire 53-man roster on the practice field.
Only one player, rookie linebacker Chris Carter, didn’t practice. The team’s fifth-round pick is out with a hamstring injury at the moment.
Fortunately, all other players, including cornerbacks Ike Taylor (left thumb surgery) and Bryant McFadden (hamstring) and Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey (left ankle) are healthy and looking forward to the team’s week 1 clash with the rival Baltimore Ravens.
The team will also be able to deploy wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and free agent addition Jerricho Cotchery, both of whom missed time with injuries this preseason.
In addition, linebacker and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison claims to be “ready to go.”
“I’m a lot closer [to 100%] than I was two weeks ago, that’s for sure,” Harrison told the media recently.
Harrison had been having back problems and hadn’t looked as dominant as usual this preseason.
In other Steelers news, the team announced team captains after practice on Sunday. The captains were voted on by players and are as follows:
Offense – Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward. This is Roethlisberger’s third season as team captain, having missed out last season due to his suspension. Ward has been in this role since 2005.
Defense – James Farrior. Farrior will serve as defensive captain for the eighth straight year.
Special Teams – Arnaz Battle. It will be the first time Battle serves as captain with the Steelers, though he had earned the role in his time in San Francisco.