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Brett Keisel on track to return for Steelers

11/26/2013

PITTSBURGH – Starting defensive end Brett Keisel practiced fully for the second day in a row, and he is on track to return to action Thursday night in Baltimore.

Keisel (foot) and outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) have missed the past two games because of injuries, and each has practiced both days this week. Woodley was limited in drills Tuesday after practicing fully on Monday.

Safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle) practiced fully for the second consecutive day and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) practiced fully on Tuesday after being limited in drills on Monday. Sylvester is expected to play against the Ravens.

Steve McLendon is the only player who has been ruled out for the 8:30 p.m. ET game on Thursday, and all signs point to Al Woods replacing McLendon at nose tackle.

Woods filled in for McLendon last Sunday after the latter left the Browns game with a sprained ankle, and Woods recorded the first two sacks of his Steelers career. The 6-foot-4, 307-pound Woods is listed as a defensive end but he said he is also comfortable playing nose tackle.

“If I am starting it'd be great, but we don't know what's going to happen yet,” Woods said. “I'm just getting ready to play, man. I'm not really worried about starting and all of that. Whenever they call my number I'm just going to be ready.”

Hebron Fangupo is also expected to get some snaps at nose tackle against the Ravens, and Ziggy Hood is a candidate to play there as well even though he is a defensive end.

“You have to have a Plan B and Plan C, and Ziggy has always been a depth guy for us at nose,” Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said.