Friday Practice Report
In the National Football League, questionable means a player has a 50 percent chance of playing. So that means the odds of Troy Polamalu playing Sunday in Miami are 50/50.
Polamalu, the Steelers’ star strong safety, was limited at practice Friday. But after practice, coach Mike Tomlin listed Polamalu as questionable.
If Polamalu does play, it will be his first game since he suffered a sprained knee in the Nov. 15 loss to Cincinnati.
Tyrone Carter has started the past six games in place of Polamalu.
Also listed as questionable were right defensive end Brett Keisel and left guard Chris Kemoeatu.
Keisel has not practiced at all this week after sustaining a “stinger” in last week’s win over Baltimore. After the game, Keisel said he would play against the Dolphins.
“No doubt. No doubt. I’m playing,” Keisel said at the time. “They might have to put a stick up my back to hold me straight, but I’m going to play.”
If Keisel can’t play, his place in the starting lineup will be taken by either Nick Eason or rookie Ziggy Hood, the Steelers’ first-round pick in this year’s draft.
Ramon Foster has started the past two games at left guard in place of Kemoeatu, who practiced on a limited basis Friday.
Listed as probable on Tomlin’s injury report were running back Willie Parker (shoulder), wide receiver Hines Ward (hamstring), linebacker Rocky Boiman (calf) and defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf). All four of them practiced Friday any limitations.
Even if Polamalu plays in Miami, Mike Tomlin and the Steelers’ medical staff totally botched their initial diagnosis of his second sprained knee injury of the season.
Flash back to Tomlin’s press conference on Nov. 17 when he said, “We have some favorable information in regards to where he is from a health standpoint … it’s not as significant as the MCL … very encouraging.”
Those words ring hollow now as the Steelers head to Miami wondering if their star strong safety will be in the starting lineup.
Polamalu has missed the last six games with a sprained posterior cruciate ligament.
That’s two more games that the four Polamalu missed earlier in the year with a medial collateral ligament sprain.