When it rains, it pours. Especially in Western Pennsylvania.
Newly installed starting inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons is injured and will likely miss the season opener against Tennessee. As usual, the Pittsburgh Steelers give us the rosy prediction he’ll be out only a couple of weeks. Given the 10 day hiatus from their Thursday night opener until game 2, that means Timmons could be out only one game. Of course, it’s useless to depend on anybody wearing Black and Gold for medical updates because they always lie.
The report is Timmons suffered a high ankle sprain in the preseason whupping of the Bills. Uh-oh. High ankle sprains are notoriously slow healing injuries. They’re also most bothersome to players who rely on speed and quick movements to do their job. Fast Willie Parker missed almost half the season last year due to a nagging high ankle sprain and Santonio Holmes lost 3 games to the same injury the year before. For a guy like Timmons, who depends almost entirely on his speed and athleticism to make plays, this isn’t something you want bothering him out on the field.
The starting LB duty will now fall to sixth-year backup Keyaron Fox. This will be Keyaron’s first start for the Steelers, as he was signed mostly as a special teams ace. Originally drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs, Fox did start some games for that team. He has a grand total of one sack his entire career.
All this agita over Timmons injury could’ve been prevented had the Steelers not cut ties with last year’s starter, Larry Foote. Unfortunately, Timmons being a 2007 1st round pick meant Mike Tomlin and company were somewhat obligated to give him every chance to make the starting line-up. And, to be fair, LT did play very well in limited duty last year. Once Foote saw the writing on the wall, he asked for his release. That may not be the “official” story but it’s pretty much what happened.
Come next Thursday, we’ll see if that decision comes back to haunt them.
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