Injuries Mounting For Steelers Heading Into Preseason Opener
By Marc Jenkins
With the first week of the 2013 preseason about to begin for all 32 teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers face a few key injuries which they must endure in order to put together a product on the field that will provide coach Mike Tomlin with some form of perspective as to what to expect during the regular season.
Entering their first preseason game against the New York Giants on Saturday August 10 at 7:30pm in Heinz Field, the Steelers already have four players who are on the PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list and there could possibly be a few more added now.
The four players on that list are: TEs Heath Miller and David Johnson, LB Sean Spence and NT Alameda Ta’ama. Miller is still recovering from complete reconstructive knee surgery which was necessary because he tore the ACL, MCL and PCL in his right knee in a Week 16 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. There is hope that Miller could return for the start of the regular season versus the Tennessee Titans, but only time will tell.
Johnson and Spence are also battling various knee injuries while Ta’ama is dealing with a hamstring issue. If these four players can’t be activated by Week 1, they will all be forced to be placed on the regular-season PUP list and will miss the first six games of the 2013 campaign as a result.
With that said and the Steelers already dealing with multiple injuries at tight end, the team is now faced with another possible situation at the position. Matt Spaeth, who was expected to replace Miller in starting lineup, was carted off of the field during a team practice on Thursday. Speath went down hard and no word has yet been given as to exactly what the status of his injury is (at the time of publication). Now, the Steelers will be forced to start second-year TE David Paulson against the Giants. The team also likely lost WR Plaxico Burress for the season on Thursday after he suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder.
On the defensive side of the football, the Steelers will be without starting CB Cortez Allen against the Giants and possibly for a few additional weeks as well following minor knee surgery. Allen had just received the starting job during training camp after beating out William Gay (who started at the position last season) and Curtis Brown. The team is expecting Allen to make a full recovery and expect him back in the lineup sometime around in 2-3 weeks. That will provide him with plenty of time to get ready for the regular season.