Both outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and defensive end Brett Keisel were holding out hope that they would be able to play when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Detroit Lions Sunday afternoon at Heinz Field, but when the 1 pm kickoff arrives, both starters will be watching from the sidelines.
Woodley and Keisel are among the Steelers seven inactives for the Lions games, joining the likes of quarterback Landry Jones, safety Shamarko Thomas, guard Ramon Foster, wide receiver Derek Moye and tight end Richard Gordon.
Woodley missed practice all week dealing with a calf injury and was downgraded to doubtful on Friday. He will be replaced by Jason Worilds, while rookie Jarvis Jones will get the start at the right outside linebacker spot. While Woodley isn’t having a great season, he is the Steelers leader in sacks with five. Since the Steelers have only 16 sacks as a team, going without their top pass rusher could become a challenge.
Keisel was listed as questionable and also missed practice all week. He has been dealing with a foot injury and was a game-time decision on Sunday. He will be replaced in the starting lineup by Ziggy Hood.
Foster is the third Steelers starter who will miss the game. He has been dealing with an ankle problem and was listed as questionable going in. Foster will be replaced by Guy Whimper at left guard. With defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh lining up across from him; he could have a very long day.
The Steelers going without three starters, plus a guy in Thomas who plays a big role on their defense, means their depth will be tested.
Someone is going to have to step up for the Steelers to come away with a second consecutive win.