It looks like the Pittsburgh Steelers will have to take on the Baltimore Ravens without their starting nose tackle and one of their most important special teams contributors.
According to Teresa Varley of Steelers.com, Steve McLendon’s sprained ankle and an ACL injury sustained by Curtis Brown will keep both players on the bench for Thursday’s game. Although Brown’s injury will prevent him from playing for the rest of the year, the fact that McLendon only sustained an ankle sprain during Sunday’s game instead of a broken ankle as some feared is at least encouraging news.
While the absences of both players could hurt the Steelers against the Ravens, Pittsburgh could be sending in some reinforcements in the forms of Brett Keisel, LaMarr Woodley, and Shamarko Thomas on Thursday night. According to Varley’s article, Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin had this to say about his two starters and backup defensive back:
What they are capable of doing here (Tuesday) is significant in determining that [if they play], … We will see where the week takes us. Their participation and how their body responds to practice participation will be our guide in terms of roles and whether or not we allow those guys to participate at all.
Keisel (foot), Woodley (calf), and Thomas (ankle) have missed Pittsburgh’s last two games with their respective injuries, so it would be an enormous boost from a depth perspective if one, two, or even three of them could suit up and contribute during Pittsburgh’s upcoming game in Baltimore. Keeping an eye on their statuses during the coming days will be most crucial, and the already-thin Steelers will need all of the depth they can use down the stretch.
Like “NPC” on Facebook: Nice Pick, Cowher