Already down James Harrison on defense for Monday night’s tilt against the San Francisco 49ers, will the Steelers also be without Troy Polamalu, the 2010 defensive player of the year?
Polamalu is questionable forÂ Monday’s game, head coach Mike Tomlin said during today’s news conference. The Steelers continue to insist that Polamalu is dealing with a hamstring injury despite appearing to have his shoulder come out of place in the second half of Thursday’s game against the Browns.
Just like Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey, Polamalu is a wait and see situation as the week progresses.
Meanwhile, Tomlin also characterized Roethlisberger and Pouncey as questionable.
Roethlisberger is expected to stay off his injured ankle for most of the week but Tomlin said he will have to practice in “some form or fashion” to play vs San Francisco. Roethlisberger’s teammates fully expect him to be in the lineup. He was at the facility this morning getting treatment and is still in a walking boot.
Woodley, Sanders expected back
The Steelers are entering the week highly optimistic that linebacker LaMarr Woodley and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders will return to the lineup. Woodley will be needed given that Harrison is out but whether he can get through a full game and be effective remains to be seen.
Jason Worilds had a breakout game Thursday night in place of Woodley but it’s not a lock that Worilds would start at ROLB if Woodley returns.
The Steelers feel Worilds is a much lesser player on the right side and the team might opt to start Lawrence Timmons in Harrison’s spot and start Larry Foote and JamesÂ Farrior inside.
The Steelers are also optimistic that Ziggy Hood will be fine and he’s expected to be a full participant in practice.
Look for Essex to start if Pouncey doesn’t play
Trai Essex and Chris Kemoeatu split first team reps on Monday but all indications are Essex will get the start at left guard if Pouncey is unable to play. The Steelers are tired of Kemoeatu’s act who will be released at seasons end. “He’s playing illegally, ” Tomlin said about Kemoeatu.