By Danny Cox
On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be stepping out onto the field for the last time in 2012. Actually, they’ll be stepping out onto the field for the last time this season at all, and that’s because they have missed the playoffs due to a late season collapse. Well, that isn’t entirely true either.
While the Steelers have gone through some rough weeks near the end of this season, it was a large number of injuries early on that caused them to suffer numerous defeats.
Now, the Steelers will be taking on the Cleveland Browns in the regular season finale and have an injury list that earlier this season, they only could have wished for. Had their injury list been this short weeks ago, then they quite possibly wouldn’t have suffered a defeat to these same Browns.
Safety Troy Polamalu is once again on the injury list, but this time, it isn’t even injury related. He is listed as “probable” and will more than likely be ready for game-time action on Sunday. Polamalu has missed a good deal of time this season, and it is nice to actually have him healed enough to stay consistent on defense.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis is also listed as “probable” for the game against the Browns, and is suffering no real problems with his recent knee injury. The fact that Lewis will be ready to go on Sunday is good news because cornerback Curtis Brown has been officially listed as “out” with an ankle issue.
David DeCastro has found himself on and off the injured reserve list this season, but is back and ready to play. The offensive guard should have no further problems with his hamstring.
A few other players will be sitting this game out though, and the biggest has to be wide receiver Mike Wallace. One of the go-to targets for Ben Roethlisberger suffered a hip injury in last week’s 13-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Steelers aren’t going to risk further injury.
Wallace had been having a great string of games with seven receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns three weeks ago against San Diego. Two weeks ago, he hauled in four receptions for 95 yards in a loss to the Cowboys. His injury limited him to only one catch for 13 yards against the Bengals.
Would the Steelers have been heading to the playoffs, then they really wouldn’t be in too bad of shape. A number of players have been able to heal up on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Their injured reserve list is incredibly short. Pittsburgh also has more than enough depth to make up for the players that will happen to be on the sidelines this weekend.
None the less, losing five of the last six games has completed decimated their season, and injuries can be thanked for some earlier season losses that easily should have been wins.
Pittsburgh Steelers Injury Report:
- S Troy Polamalu (Not Injury Related)
- CB Kennan Lewis (knee)
- G David DeCastro (hamstring)
- LB Marshall McFadden (abdomen)
- CB Curtis Brown (ankle)
- T Mike Adams (ankle)
- WR Mike Wallace (hip)
- TE Heath Miller
- CB Ike Taylor
- RB Baron Batch
- G Willie Colon
- CB DeMarcus Van Dyke
- OT Marcus Gilbert
- LB Chris Carter
- RB David Johnson
For more Local Football Bloggers and the latest Steelers news, see CBS Sports Pittsburgh.
Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.