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Tomlin regrets not challenging Mendenhall’s near TD

After reviewing film from the Steelers’ 20-10 loss last Sunday in New Orleans, coach Mike Tomlin said he should have challenged a call that might have resulted in a touchdown.

It came on a run by Rashard Mendenhall early in the second quarter from the Saints’ 1-yard line. Officials ruled that Mendenhall did not get into the end zone, and the Steelers didn’t challenge the call.

“We didn’t think he crossed the plane (of the goal line) and he didn’t either,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers were stopped on third down as well and settled for a 19-yard field goal by Jeff Reed.

While Tomlin said he should have challenged the call, he added that it should not have been an issue since the Steelers had three plays from the Saints’ 1-yard line.

“We’ve got to score touchdowns when when we’ve got the ball down there,” Tomlin said.

In other Steelers news, Tomlin expects starting defensive end Brett Keisel to play Monday night in Cincinnati.

Keisel has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

Right tackle Flozell Adams and running back Isaac Redman are nursing ankle injuries, Tomlin said, but each are expected to play against the Bengals.

“We’ve a relatively healthy team,” Tomlin said.

The Steelers will add a player to the practice sqaud after losing rookie outside linebacker Thaddeus Gibson to the 49ers.

The Steelers, albeit reluctantly, waived the fourth-round draft pick last Saturday to make room on the 53-man roster for defensive tackle Steve McLendon.

The Steelers signed McLendon because of an arm injury that has sidelined defensive end Aaron Smith indefinitely.

Tomlin said he and Smith are optimistic that the latter will return at some point this season.

That is why, Tomlin said, he didn’t second-guess himself after losing Gibson. “It was definitely a necessary maneuver,” Tomlin said of waiving Gibson.


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