|ESPN.com: NFL||[Print without images]|
PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu left Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter after aggravating his strained right calf and did not return to the game, which the Steelers won, 16-14.
The Steelers also lost linebacker LaMarr Woodley with a strained right hamstring.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Sunday the team didn't know the extent of Polamalu's injury and likely will address his status, as well as Woodley's, for Thursday night's game against the Titans at his news conference on Monday at noon.
Polamalu limped off the field following a fumble by Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick. The 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was replaced by backup Ryan Mundy.
Polamalu missed each of Pittsburgh's previous two games after injuring the calf in a season-opening loss in Denver. The seven-time Pro Bowler had five tackles in the Steelers' Week 1 loss against the Broncos, which before Sunday was the only game he had played in this season.
You hurt selfishly, but more for him. I know how bad he wants to be out there. I know how hard he worked to get back. I know what type of treatments he went through. ... And to come back and for that to happen is just terrible.” -- Ryan Clark, on Troy Polamalu
Polamalu's teammates, particularly safety Ryan Clark, took the setback hard.
"I almost had a mental collapse when I saw him get hurt," Clark said. "Sometimes I think my love for him is a negative. When he's not playing, I want him out there. It's no indictment on the guys who come in. But part of why I play here and part of why I come back every year is to play with him."
Clark added, "You hurt selfishly, but more for him. I know how bad he wants to be out there. I know how hard he worked to get back. I know what type of treatments he went through. I saw him in the cold tubs at 6:30 when I got to work and he was already done with his workouts. And to come back and for that to happen is just terrible."
The right calf has been a troublesome injury for Polamalu. It's the same calf he hurt in the playoffs last season. A tender right calf kept him out of practice leading up to the divisional playoff game at Denver.
Information from AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley and The Associated Press was used in this report.