By Matt Popchock

LATROBE, Pa. (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers have had such rotten luck with their secondary recently they couldn’t even get through a day without hitting without their depth chart taking a hit.

Steelers cornerback Curtis Brown suffered an ankle injury during practice at Saint Vincent College and was carted off the field Monday. Head coach Mike Tomlin did not know the severity of the injury, and said they will have to see on Wednesday when practice resumes following the Tuesday off day.

Multiple sources say Brown watched the rest of practice on crutches, while fellow corners Cortez Allen, Terry Hawthorne, DeMarcus Van Dyke are also currently on the mend from lower-body injuries.

Meanwhile, nose tackle Alameda Ta’amu practiced for the first time Monday. The 6’3″, 348-pound sophomore has been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list since the start of camp with a hamstring injury.

Ta’amu, a 2012 draftee, has seen his pro career get off to a rocky start, getting minimal reps as a rookie and nearly losing his job over a DUI incident on the South Side to which he pleaded guilty.

Linebacker Larry Foote, tight end Matt Spaeth, defensive end Nick Williams and running back Le’Veon Bell also returned.

Shifting attention to what happened on the practice field, one of the highlights of the day was a nice throw made by John Parker Wilson to rookie receiver Markus Wheaton for a touchdown during 11-on-11 drills.

Wilson (6’2″, 215 lbs.), a 27-year-old Alabama product, once tried out with the Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars, and is battling veteran Bruce Gradkowski and rookie Landry Jones for the right to back up Ben Roethlisberger.

The team practiced in shorts, shirts, and helmets, so none of the live tackling seen in previous days took place at Latrobe Monday.

“We changed our attire today, trying to maximize the off day on Wednesday,” Tomlin explained.

Among the guests to Steelers training camp today were Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, Captain “Wild Bill” Wichrowski, and retired Marine Sgt. Doug Vitale.

Vitale, 26, was on patrol in Afghanistan Sept. 2011 when he stepped on a land mine and lost both legs, suffered brain damage, and lost his speech.

“It was the right thing to do,” Tomlin said of the invitation extended to Vitale. “These guys are the real heroes. These guys make the ultimate sacrifice and serve our country, and we just want to honor them in an appropriate manner.”

Wichrowski, a 1975 Norwin graduate, has gone on to star in the Discovery Channel series “Deadliest Catch.”


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