Tuesday, October 23, 2012
More reshuffling on Steelers' offensive line
By Jamison Hensley
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin announced the offensive line will have a different look from the game before, which has been an ongoing trend for Pittsburgh.
Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey will return to practice after missing Sunday night's game with a knee injury, but right tackle Marcus Gilbert will be sidelined for a second straight game with an ankle injury. Rookie Mike Adams will fill in for Gilbert on Sunday against the Redskins.
The Steelers endured instability on the offensive line last year, when they used a league-high 26 different combinations. That's five more than the next closest team (the Patriots), according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Pittsburgh thought it had solved that problem when it drafted guard David DeCastro in the first round and Adams in the second. But DeCastro was injured in the preseason, and Adams started the season as a backup.
This year, the Steelers have used seven different offensive line combinations in the first six games of the season. That's tied for eighth-most in the league.
Tomlin has also ruled out safety Troy Polamalu, who has missed most of the season with a calf injury. He played the season opener before missing the next two games. Polamalu returned for the Week 4 game against Philadelphia but he didn't last one full quarter after aggravating the injury. Since the start of the 2007 season, the Steelers are 10-10 without Polamalu.