Keisel won’t rush return to Steelers’ starting lineup
• Defensive end Brett Keisel, who reinjured his hamstring against Cincinnati, was limited in practice for the second consecutive day Thursday.
Keisel, who has missed three games and sat out most of the Cinncinnati game, said he will proceed with more caution this time.
“I really need to listen to my body,” Keisel said. “Last time, when I thought I felt great because I didn’t have pain after a workout, I still didn’t feel like I was 100 percent. I think we’re going to wait until I really feel like I’m 100 percent, where I can do football movements in practice just as much as you would need to do in a game.”
Nick Eason, Keisel’s replacement, missed his second consecutive day of practice because of illiness.
• Safety Troy Polamalu is following the same strategy that was utilized by tight end Heath Miller last week. Miller, who sat out the first two days of practice because of fluid on his knee, returned to practice last Friday and played against New England. Polamalu, who suffered an Achilles injury against the Patriots, may do the same thing after missing the last two days of practice. “That’s the plan, so far,” said Polamalu, who missed 11 games last season with a knee injury.
• Wide receiver Hines Ward didn’t play after suffering a concussion in the first quarter against New England. He was cleared to practice and has been vocal about bouncing back strong in Sunday’s game against Oakland at Heinz Field. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Ward has taken charge this week. “I’ve been here seven years, and that’s the best two practices Hines has had in five of them because he hasn’t practiced on Wednesday in a long time,” Arians said. “He wanted to prove to everybody that he was healthy. He had two great practices and showed a lot of the younger guys how to do it.”
• Linebacker Lawrence Timmons (hip), guard Chris Kemoeatu (ankle) and cornerback Crezdon Butler (quadriceps), who were all limited Wednesday, were full participants at yesterday’s practice. Safety Will Allen remains sidelined after suffering a concussion against Cincinnati. Allen was expected to play against New England but experienced headaches the morning before the game and hasn’t returned to the practice field this week.
• Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (ankle), tight end Zach Miller (arch) and defensive tackle John Henderson (right foot) were limited at practice yesterday but are on track to play Sunday, coach Tom Cable said. Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) was also limited, his status remains up in the air.