Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gave some news today about the status of the many injured Steelers players. Some surprises but plenty that aren’t, but what will it all mean for this week’s game with the Cleveland Browns.
Players who almost certainly out for this week’s game are quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, safety Troy Polamalu, wide receiver Jericho Cotchery, defensive end Ziggy Hood and offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert. This is the bad news.
On the good news front, wide receiver Antonio Brown was able to practice some, so there’s a chance he’ll be able to get on the field on Sunday. Also guard David DeCastro was able to return to practice after tearing his MCL in the preseason. The Steelers will now have 21 days to assess where he is medically and decide if they will keep him on the roster or go ahead and move him to the IR for the remainder of the season.
More good news is running back Isaac Redman appears to be cleared from the concussion he suffered last week and will be able to play, giving the Steelers 3 healthy backs all of which could start for many teams. With third string quarterback Charlie Batch set to start the Steelers will need as potent a running game as they can get.
With Cotchery out, and possibly Brown as well, this could thrust newly signed wide receiver Plaxico Burress into the No. 3 wide receiver role which would mean significant targets, as wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders stepping into the starting role opposite Mike Wallace. It could also mean the Steelers could plug running back Chris Rainey in as a wide receiver more. Much of it will depend on the status of Brown on game day.
It’s disheartening that the Polamalu is still injured and there was some talk of Roethlisberger being in uniform as possibly an emergency quarterback, but it appears the neither will happen. Better to have Roethlisberger healthy and ready to go the following week.
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