The Steelers’ longest-tenured player might have played his final game.
Defensive end Brett Keisel left Sunday’s loss to the New Orleans Saints with an injury to his left triceps. Keisel’s locker was empty after the game, and he was unavailable.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Keisel would be evaluated. Tomlin said he would provide an update Tuesday.
Keisel was in obvious pain as he left the field late in the third quarter. He soon was declared out for the game.
“You don’t want to see anyone get hurt, especially something like that where he won’t be back for the rest of the season,” linebacker James Harrison said. “So it’s hard.”
Keisel, 36, was selected by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 2002 draft. He has appeared in 156 games, including all 12 this season after signing late in training camp. When healthy, Keisel started every game he appeared in for the Steelers from 2006-13. Sunday was his fourth start of 2014.
The painful nature of Keisel’s injury reminded some Steelers of another respected veteran defensive end, Aaron Smith, who missed the final 10 games of the 2010 season because of a torn left triceps.
“For me, personally, when I saw (Keisel leave the field), of course I was really disappointed. I’ve seen it happen with Aaron,” said safety Troy Polamalu, who is tied with cornerback Ike Taylor for the Steelers’ second-longest active continuous tenure.
“There’s very few guys left here in the locker room that you’ve experienced a lot with, ups and downs, that you can carry through with them. I’m definitely going to miss Brett and his leadership.”
— Chris Adamski