PITTSBURGH - The running game could get a boost with the return of Willie Parker this week. After missing games earlier in the season because of a knee injury, Parker sat out the Colts game with a shoulder injury. It was reported that he had a torn labrum, but both Parker and Tomlin said that is not the case.
“To my knowledge Willie Parker has a shoulder subluxation,” said Tomlin. “That is his understanding of it, mine and the staffs. The shoulder popped out briefly during the Redskins game and popped back into place. Adrenaline, or what have you, didn’t allow him to recognize it during the course of the game. We came in (last) Tuesday and took a look at it. It was painful and sore at that time.”
Parker was at the team’s practice facility this Tuesday to work out and Tomlin is hopeful that he will practice on Wednesday and be ready to play by Sunday, although he will likely have to wear a shoulder harness to protect it.
Offensive tackle Marvel Smith could return to practice this week after missing several weeks with back spasms. Smith has not played since the Jacksonville game and has also missed practice during that time, so he will have to prove he is ready to go before he gets the nod to return to game-action.
“He has to show us quite a bit,” said Tomlin. “He has missed some time. Not only in terms of health, but technically he has to be up to speed. He has to knock the rust off quickly if he is going to play this weekend.”
Linebacker LaMarr Woodley is expected to return to the field this week, but Heath Miller is questionable.