http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08313/926485-66.stmSaturday, November 08, 2008
By Robert Dvorchak, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Injuries have forced the Steelers to make adjustments to the starting lineup nearly every week. Now it's time for the tight ends' turn.
Heath Miller, the durable and productive starter, suffered a high ankle sprain against the Washington Redskins and is out for the game tomorrow against the Indianapolis Colts. His loss was put in perspective recently when safety Troy Polamalu and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians each praised Miller as the best tight end in the AFC, even if his statistics aren't as gaudy as other tight ends.
But it has been coach Mike Tomlin's mantra that the expectations remain the same when a starter goes down.
This week, Matt Spaeth and Sean McHugh will step up a notch while Trai Essex will serve as the third tight end in goal-line situations, a job that used to be held by Max Starks until injuries on the offensive line made him the starter at left tackle.
If Wood can't go I'm anxious to see what Timmons has. This is a big chance for him to get some real playing time on the outside since he mostly plays on the inside.More injury updates
Other players who were unable to practice yesterday included running back Najeh Davenport (hamstring), cornerback Bryant McFadden (forearm), running back Willie Parker (shoulder) and tackle Marvel Smith (back). McFadden, Smith and tight end Heath Miller are out for the game tomorrow while Parker is listed as doubtful.
Davenport and Woodley are questionable, while Polamalu, Roethlisberger, safety Tyrone Carter, nose tackle Casey Hampton, running back Gary Russell, receiver Hines Ward and cornerback DeShea Townsend are probable.
Meanwhile, Woodley did not practice yesterday and rated his chances of playing against the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow at "50-50" because his calf was injured before the game against the New York Giants two weeks ago.
He played that game as well as the one against the Redskins.
"I really can't say if it's worse or if it's better. I have two days. I guess it'll be a game-time decision," Woodley said. "You have to be smart. I don't want to miss a game, but I don't want to hurt it worse and have to miss four or five games later on. The game's not going to stop because I'm not in there."
If Woodley can't go, Lawrence Timmons is expected to fill in, although Keyaron Fox got the bulk of the repetitions in practice yesterday.
Heath being out really sux but it's about time this offense starts using Matt Spaeth and wonder of all wonders he might just be productive. The dude is like 10' tall and he has decent hands so Im looking forward to see if they get him some looks on the similar plays that Heath gets.