Coming off their second consecutive win to maintain their slim playoff hopes, the Pittsburgh Steelers could be getting a bit of good news as they prepare for their Week 12 matchup against the Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers’ win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday came with three of their starters sitting out. That doesn’t look like it will be the case this week as all three are expected to return to the lineup.
Mike Tomlin said yesterday that defensive end Brett Keisel (plantar fasciitis), outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) and guard Ramon Foster (high ankle sprain) “have a legitimate opportunity to play” against the 4-6 Browns.
In addition, Tomlin said that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who left the Lions game in the second quarter with a foot injury, could also play on Sunday.
That’s good news for the Steelers, who remain thin at mostly every position. However, the replacements for the injured Steelers fared rather well last week, especially in the case of Jason Worilds, who filled in for Woodley.
Worilds, who got the start at left outside linebacker, had seven tackles, a sack and four quarterback hurries.
In addition, rookie Jarvis Jones, who started at right outside linebacker, batted down a couple of passes and Ziggy Hood, who started in place of Keisel had a sack at the end of the game.
Finally, rookie receiver Markus Wheaton made his biggest impact of the season filling in for the injured Sanders, hauling in a career-high three passes.
While the subs performed admirably on Sunday, it’s always nice to have your starters on the field. As the Steelers look to make it a season-high three wins in a row, the Black and Gold look to be relatively healthy for this late in the season.