In a pinch, Polamalu can be running back
By: Mike Bires Beaver County Times
Thursday November 11, 2010 11:54 PM
PITTSBURGH — If one more Steelers running back would have gotten hurt Monday night, Troy Polamalu may have been called upon to carry the football.
“Troy is always our emergency running back,” offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said.
In the 27-21 win in Cincinnati, backups Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman were sidelined with concussions. Moore left the game in the second quarter, Redman in the fourth.
Because rookie Jonathan Dwyer was a game-day inactive and not in uniform, the Steelers were down to just one running back.
If Rashard Mendenhall would have gone down, it would have been Polamalu, the all-star safety, who would have gone in at running back.
“Definitely,” said Polamalu, who played running back and defensive back in high school. “I practiced at running back during our bye week. It was nice. It was fun.”
Throughout his career, Polamalu has showed his talents running with the football after intercepting passes or recovering fumbles.
“That’s true, but it would be a different story if I had to run against real defenders,” Polamalu said.
Because of injuries on the offensive line in the win over the Bengals, the Steelers were also down to five O-linemen in the second half.
“There was a lot of scrambling going on along that sideline Monday night,” Arians said. “We had (tight end) Matt Spaeth getting ready to play tackle and we were getting Troy ready to play running back.”
The good news for the running back situation is that Moore and Redman both practiced Thursday. So they will probably be in uniform Sunday night when the Steelers (6-2) host the New England Patriots (6-2).
In other injury news, defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring), guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee, ankle) and tight end Heath Miller (knee) missed practice. It’s doubtful that Keisel and Kemoeatu will play Sunday night against the Patriots. Miller could be back at practice today.
And even though Doug Legursky moved into the left guard spot when Kemoeatu was hurt in Cincinnati, he may not be the starter against the Patriots. It appears that the Steelers are leaning toward starting Ramon Foster, who didn’t dress the past two games.*