Two weeks ago the Steelers injury report was littered with Pro Bowl players who would miss the game against the Seahawks.
But, with an extra week to heal courtesy of a perfectly timed bye week, look for many of the players to be back in action this week against the Denver Broncos.
Wide receiver Hines Ward, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, will return to action on Sunday night in Denver.
“He is going to be fine,” said head coach Mike Tomlin. “He is going to practice (Wednesday). All tests to this point have been very positive. I know he is excited about being back in there as we are about having him back in there.”
Also returning to action will be safety Troy Polamalu, who missed the Seahawks game with an abdomen injury, and wide receiver Santonio Holmes, who suffered a hamstring injury in pregame warm-ups before the Seattle game.
“They are going to be fine,” said Tomlin. “They are not even listed as issues on the injury report. We expect those guys to go. I think they are going to be good.”
Nose tackle Casey Hampton is going to be limited in practice on Wednesday, but Tomlin still thinks there is potential he will return to action on Sunday.
“We are going to continue to monitor him and his hamstring throughout the early portion of this week,” said Tomlin. “We are hopeful that by the end he will be ready to go.”
Cornerback Bryant McFadden is doubtful this week with a high ankle sprain, an injury that can be a nagging one for a player.
“You know how those injuries are,” said Tomlin. “We anticipated it being a couple of weeks and it has been. We’ll see where he is but right now we are doubtful with him.”
Tight end Jerame Tuman is questionable at this point with back spasms that will limit him early in the week, but he has not been ruled out for the game.
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The Steelers returned to work for team and position meetings on Monday refreshed from time off following their bye week and ready to tackle the challenges that lay ahead of them the remainder of the season.
The first challenge will be playing on the road at Denver on Sunday. The Steelers last road outing this season resulted in their only loss to date, falling 21-14 at Arizona, and Tomlin does not want a repeat performance.
“We talked about having an opportunity to respond to our last road outing,” said Tomlin. “That was the focus of our meeting. The last time we played on the road we didn’t feel like we played up to our standards. I threw that challenge out to our football team that we are going into a hostile environment this weekend to say the least and we have to be prepared to be at our best.”