This week, amidst all of the turkey talk and late night shopping, the Steelers continue to get ready for their rival, the Cleveland Browns. Even though the team still resembles a M.A.S.H. unit as much as they do an NFL franchise, there is encouraging signs for the near future for many injured players.
As CBS Sports reports, things are looking up for Troy Polamalu: Steelers safety Troy Polamalu was back at practice Friday, but it’s still doubtful he’ll play Sunday. (US Presswire) S Will Allen called it a “Thanksgiving-Christmas gift” to see All-Pro Safety Troy Polamalu back practicing with the Steelers. Don’t get too excited, though. It would take a Christmas miracle for Polamalu to play Sunday in Cleveland. Polamalu practiced in a limited capacity Friday and is considered doubtful to play against the Browns.
We shouldn’t expect to see Troy for at least another week beyond the Browns game, although if he continues to practice next week there’s an outside chance he could play in Baltimore.
For Big Ben Roethlisberger, the news was also encouraging as earlier this week Mike Tomlin categorized his quarterback as doubtful for this weeks’ game. Charlie Batch will start in Cleveland and if he plays well and remains healthy, he could get a second start the following week against the Ravens. We shouldn’t expect to see Big Ben for at least another week; but still the fact that he no longer has his throwing arm in a sling is a good sign. Reports this week had him moving his arm with seeming ease and the team is encouraged with his progress.
Antonio Browns’ high ankle sprain is still a concern but he is officially listed as questionable for Sunday. He does have a 50-50 shot of playing but with this type of injury we shouldn’t be surprised to see him being held out. After signing former Steeler Plaxico Burress on Tuesday, Charlie Batch will still have plenty of targets to throw too. Keeping Brown out just to make sure that ankle isn’t going to get reaggravated is the right way to go.
Isaac Redman passed all of his tests and says he’s good to go against the Browns. If the Steelers can make it through this game coming up with all 3 primary running backs intact, it will be the first time they’ll have done so all year. Tomlin didn’t specify who will play when and how much, but it’s a nice problem to have for once.
My money is still on Jonathan Dwyer being the hot hand and getting a good amount of work going forward.
The Steelers are heading into the stretch run of the season with only 6 games left; every one of them is a must win so these encouraging signs of players getting healthy is nice to see.