Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin talked today, and as usuall, had some good and bad news. One of the biggest nuggets continued to be about injuries and how they will possibly affect the team this week against the Washington Redskins.Maurkice Pouncey looks to return to the pivot for the game after sitting out the Sunday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a knee injury. Unfortunately, Pouncey may be the only returning starter for the Steelers as right tackle Marcus Gilbert (Foot) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) will be out.
With Gilbert out, rookie tackle Mike Adams will get his second start, and look to build upon his solid play against the Bengals. In fact, Adams has performed well in limited action, minus his opening preseason debacle against the Philadelphia Eagles and their wide-nine scheme. While this is a short-term fix, Adam’s development could lead to long-term success.
With the line rounding back into shape, the question now turns to the backfield where last week’s star Jonathan Dwyer is looking toward a potential second start. After his play Sunday with 122 yards rushing, the Steelers should consider riding Dwyer until running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (Ankle) could return to action close to 100 percent.
As fans know, injuries have not just impacted the offense in 2012, in fact, the team is still battling defensive injuries (although they are creeping up). Last week, Will Allen made his second start in the place of Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu. However, Allen injured his ankle against the Bengals and may be limited this week making safety Ryan Mundy a candidate to start against the Redskins.
Unfortunately, all of these injuries have also trickled down to in some ways impact the special teams units, which have struggled with what Tomlin termed, "repeat, egregious offenders" whose penalties have cost the Steelers valuable return yardage and pinned the offense back on numerous occasions. One of the biggest offenders in the past few games has been cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke. The speedster, picked up off waivers from the Oakland Raiders, has struggled in the return game, being called for multiple holding or block in the back penalties. However, he is not the lone culprit as veterans such as Allen, Mundy and linebacker Brandon Johnson have been penalized on special teams this season.
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