Troy Polamalu out vs. Titans

Updated: October 8, 2012, 7:35 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers safety Troy Polamalu won't play Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans because of the right calf muscle injury he aggravated in Sunday's 16-14 win over the Eagles, coach Mike Tomlin said Monday.

The coach is a little more optimistic that linebacker LaMarr Woodley can play despite a strained right hamstring. Woodley sat out six games and missed parts of two others with a similar injury last year but Tomlin believes this time it isn't quite as serious.

Still, with less than 100 hours to get ready, Woodley looks doubtful.

"Although there's more optimism regarding where he is ... we're at the early portion of the season and we've got to be smart with how we deal with that," Tomlin said.

Polamalu was in pass coverage when he pulled up at the end of the play and hobbled to the sideline. He spent the rest of the half sitting on the bench with his calf iced and watched the second half in sweats.

Tomlin pointed to the quick turnaround between games and the nature of Polamalu's injury as the reasons behind the decision. Polamalu missed two games last month after originally straining the calf in a loss to Denver in the season opener.

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.

The news isn't all bad for Pittsburgh's defense, however. Linebacker James Harrison didn't miss a snap in his first game of the season and other than some minor swelling in his left knee Monday morning, appeared just fine. He certainly looked just fine while recording two tackles and hurrying Eagles quarterback Michael Vick three times.

"I think that players of his caliber have inspired others," Tomlin said. "You don't deny that even if it's somewhat intangible."

Though Tomlin will give Ryan Mundy the first crack at filling in for Polamalu, he allowed there's a chance veteran Will Allen could see an uptick in playing time. Mundy drew mixed results during the season's first month and showed a penchant for making illegal hits.

He knocked out Oakland's Darrius Heyward-Bey with a helmet-to-helmet hit two weeks ago and was flagged 15 yards Sunday for smacking into Philadelphia's Jeremy Maclin after a short completion.

The Eagles eventually turned the flag into a touchdown that drew them within 10-7. The flag was one of nine thrown against the Steelers Sunday, and Pittsburgh has already committed 37 penalties for 346 yards this season, an uncharacteristically high number for a team that likes to consider itself one of the more disciplined one in the league.

"Those are self-inflicted wounds," Tomlin said. "We won't tolerate that. We cannot tolerate that. It's my job to get them fixed."

Information from AFC North blogger Jamison Hensley was used in this report.

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