Steelers notebook: Steelers’ injury list continues to grow
The Steelers’ injury list would be impressive even if Ben Roethlisberger weren’t on it.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown (high ankle sprain) is questionable for Baltimore, as is running back Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles). And safety Troy Polamalu (torn calf), who hasn’t practiced since Oct. 5, is doubtful. Last week, coach Mike Tomlin said Polamalu might be ready for Baltimore. Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) could practice this week.
Ryan Clark’s second concussion in three weeks doesn’t appear to have the Steelers worried. Clark posted several Twitter messages following the Monday night game against Kansas City that he felt fine. Tomlin said, “He appears to be fine” and that the second concussion “is not alarming for me. … If he’s deemed cleared and ready to play, then, of course, we’ll play him.” Clark must pass the ImPACT post-concussion tests before he can play.
• Former Chiefs coach Todd Haley’s offense apparently looked overly familiar to his former players. Steelers left tackle Max Starks said the Chiefs defensive linemen could be heard calling out some plays before the Steelers ran them. Haley became the Steelers’ offensive coordinator this season. “Sometimes they knew what was coming,” Starks said. The Steelers were held to 249 yards.
• No AFC rivalry in recent seasons comes close to matching the Ravens vs. the Steelers, either in intensity of the annual importance of the games. “It’s going to be a bloodbath,” Starks said.”We really don’t like these guys, and No. 55 (Terrell Suggs) is back. And we get them in two of the next three.” The Ravens swept the Steelers a season ago; the Steelers would have won the AFC North with even a split.
• Byron Leftwich is 0-5 as an NFL starter with Tampa Bay and Atlanta since last winning in 2006. He has never started in his four seasons with Pittsburgh. Since the 2008 season, Roethlisberger has thrown for 17,193 yards with Pittsburgh, Charlie Batch for 577 and Leftwich for 418.
• Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco plays much better at home (49 touchdowns, 22 interceptions) than on the road (44 TDs, 31 INTs), but Tomlin said that stat means nothing to him — perhaps for good reason. Flacco led the length-of-the-field drive in the closing minutes that carried the Ravens past the Steelers, 23-20, at Heinz Field on Nov. 16, a win that ultimately carried the Ravens to the AFC North title. Flacco has thrown for 1,808 yards, 10 touchdowns and four interceptions in eight regular-season games against Pittsburgh.
— Alan Robinson