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Ike Taylor's status for Falcons game uncertain in more ways than one

12/9/2014

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor might shadow Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones on Sunday.

That is if Taylor starts.

Or even plays in the 1 p.m. ET game at the Georgia Dome.

Coach Mike Tomlin was all over the place Tuesday in regard to the veteran cornerback, adding more uncertainty to his status after Taylor did not play in the fourth quarter of the Steelers’ 42-21 win at Cincinnati.

Taylor came out of the game after giving up an 81-yard touchdown catch to wide receiver A.J. Green and did not return. He said after the Steelers improved to 8-5 that he took himself out of a game for the first time in his career because a knee contusion prevented him from running well enough to keep up with Green.

Tomlin said at his weekly news conference that the Steelers will monitor Taylor’s health this week but did not mention the knee contusion. He said Taylor will be watched to see how he works through a shoulder injury as well as the broken forearm that caused him to miss eight games.

When asked if Taylor will start against the Falcons if he is healthy, Tomlin said, “That’s to be determined. We need to first of all get a handle on where he is from a health standpoint and then make decisions accordingly.”

Taylor has struggled since returning from the injury he sustained in the third week of the season.

He gave up a 69-yard touchdown catch to Kenny Stills in a 35-32 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Taylor struggled last Sunday to cover Green, against whom he has traditionally fared well.

Green, who entered Sunday with one career 100-yard receiving game against the Steelers, went off for 224 yards.

Next up for the Steelers is Jones, who had 259 receiving yards Monday night against the Green Bay Packers before leaving the game with a hip injury.

Assuming Jones is able to play Sunday the Steelers will have to find someone to cover the fourth-year veteran.

It could be Taylor because of his experience, Tomlin said.

If he starts Sunday.

Or even plays.

“Maybe we’ll match him up against Julio,” Tomlin said. “Maybe we won’t.”

And there you have it.