By Scott Brown
, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Nose tackle Casey Hampton and left tackle Max Starks are on course to return to the starting lineup Sunday when the Steelers visit the Buccaneers. Hampton didn't play last Sunday against the Titans because of a hamstring injury. Starks was sidelined by a sprained ankle. Hampton, Tomlin said yesterday, "has looked really good in terms of getting himself ready to go this week." Starks, he added, is expected to participate fully in practice today.
» Even if Starks does not experience any setbacks this week, the Steelers could be without one of their starting offensive linemen at Tampa Bay. Right guard Trai Essex has a sprained left ankle and is questionable for the 1 p.m. game. Essex wore a protective boot on the injured ankle yesterday at the Steelers' practice facility. If he is unable to play against the Buccaneers, Doug Legursky will start at right guard.
"Happy with where that young man is," Tomlin said of Legursky.
» Outside linebacker Jason Worilds and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders are expected to practice today, Tomlin said, after missing the last game with shoulder and quadriceps injuries, respectively. Sanders played in the regular-season opener, but he may have a tough time making the active roster Sunday. Antonio Brown dressed in his place against the Titans and returned the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown. "He made a pretty good case (to play in Tampa)," Tomlin said of Brown, "but I can be a tough guy to work with sometimes, so we will see how the week unfolds."
» Wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who starred as a quarterback in college at Indiana, will again serve as the Steelers' emergency signal-caller Sunday. "We also have Arnaz Battle, who was a quarterback at Notre Dame, and Hines (Ward) threw for (more than) 400 yards in the Peach Bowl one year," Tomlin said. Tomlin, able to poke a little fun at the Steelers' lack of depth at quarterback, added, "We've got options."