By Christina Rivers
Friday’s final practice and injury report painted a different picture for the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to their Sunday afternoon game against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Brows Stadium. Wide receiver Antonio Brown suffered an ankle injury during Week 10′s game against the New York Giants, causing the Steelers to sign Plaxico Burress when fellow receiver Jerricho Cotchery suffered mutiple rib fractures (what game?) Brown was limited in practice all week, listed as questionable to play. Brown told reporters he is planning his return to the field against Cleveland. Running back Isaac Redman passed all of the concussion tests after being hit hard during the Week 11 game against the Baltimore Ravens. He participated fully in practice this week making his return probable. With only four players out for Sunday, the Steelers have a better outlook on how the rest of their season may play out.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left Thursday’s Thanksgiving practice session with a smile on his face. He and his wife, Ashley, saw the birth of their first child; a son. Although Roethlisberger did not participate in practices, he was not in an arm sling on Wednesday. According to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, Roethlisberger was able to remove his shirt without any difficulties at practice. Roethlisberger, listed as out, may not travel with the team in order to spend time with his family. It’s too early to say whether he will be ready to go against the Baltimore Ravens next week.
The Steelers have four players in addition to Redman who are listed as probable for Sunday. Safety Will Allen participated fully in practice this week and appears as if his shoulder is no longer bothering him. Defensive end Ziggy Hood had a lower back injury and missed Wednesday’s practice, but went from limited to full participation for the remainder of the week. Inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester participated fully in practice this week.
There is good news about strong safety Troy Polamalu. Out for most of the season with a severe calf injury, Polamalu was able to participate in practice Friday in a limited capacity. He remains doubtful to play on Sunday.
With the signing of Plaxico Burress, it appears that he will take the place of the injured Cotchery. David Gilreath looks to be the number four receiver.
S Will Allen (shoulder)
G/T Willie Colon (knee)
DE Ziggy Hood (back)
RB Isaac Redman (concussion)
ILB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring)
WR Antonio Brown (ankle)
SS Troy Polamalu (calf)
QB Byron Leftwich (ribs)
QB Ben Roethisberger (shoulder, rib)
WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs)
T Marcus Gilbert (ankle)
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Christina Rivers is freelance journalist and photographer with a life-long love of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Credentialed with the organization, Christina provides a unique perspective gained through her knowledge and understanding of Steelers history, the Rooney family and relationships with past and present players. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.