Hood, Eason fight nagging injuries
Defensive end Ziggy Hood hasn’t lived up to expectations of his No. 1 draft status from 2009 to the point where he can’t get on the field ahead of journeyman defensive end Nick Eason. One reason is Hood has been hampered by an ankle injury for a large portion of the regular season. “I got a little nicked up, and it took away from my speed,” Hood said. “That’s what I bring to the table, but it’s getting back to where I need it to be. And I’m getting ready to play.” With defensive end Brett Keisel already ruled out of Sunday’s game in Miami, Eason or Hood will start at right end. Eason also is hurting from knee and ankle injuries he suffered during last week’s game. “It is nothing severe or a situation where I am going to miss any games,” Eason said.
• Trai Essex said his injured ankle that kept him out of the past three games is good enough for him to get back on the field Sunday against Miami. In fact, Essex said he is absolutely going to play against the Dolphins. “I am about 85-90 percent healthy,” Essex said. The question remains that if Essex will regain his starting right guard spot that has been filled by Doug Legursky.
• The Steelers have yet to wear their road white jerseys and that will continue this week. The Dolphins have selected to wear their white jerseys at home, forcing the Steelers to wear their black home shirts in temperatures expected to be in the mid 80s at kickoff. The Steelers will wear their white jerseys for the first time Halloween night in New Orleans.
• Keisel (hamstring) and James Harrison (personal) missed practice, and Essex was limited. For the Dolphins, running back Lousaka Polite (knee) missed practice, and defensive end Jared Odrick (ankle) was limited.