Although they emerged victorious over the Detroit Lions last Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers did so without three of their veteran starters in the form of left guard Ramon Foster (ankle), defensive end Brett Keisel (foot), and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf).
Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the statuses of his injured veterans for this weekend’s game in a recent press conference, and Tomlin seemed encouraged regarding the health of the aforementioned starters according to Alan Robinson of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Tomlin expects foster, Woodley, keisel to play vs browns. All could return this week to practice.
— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) November 19, 2013
Foster’s return would allow Guy Whimper to shift over to right tackle, his most natural position, and back up Marcus Gilbert in case the third-year tackle is either ineffective or hobbled due to an injury. Adding Keisel would allow the Steelers to keep their defensive end rotation fresh during those crucial games. Finally, the return of Woodley would give Pittsburgh’s defense their overall leader in sacks (5.0) back to boot.
Getting any one of those three players back for either of their next two divisional matchups against the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens would be an enormous plus for Pittsburgh at the moment. While they are 4-6, the Steelers are still “alive” when it comes to potentially qualifying for postseason play. If Pittsburgh wishes to make a strong finishing-kick over their final six games, they will need their most important players available to do so.
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