By Danny Cox

The Pittsburgh Steelers were hoping to be at full strength for the Wild Card round game against the Miami Dolphins this weekend, but it simply wasn’t meant to be. While the injury report isn’t very long, a couple of big names are listed on it, and that will hurt the run defense that the Steelers so desperately need to stop Jay Ajayi from trampling all over them again.

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In Week 6, the Pittsburgh Steelers allowed Ajayi to run all over them for more than 200 yards and two touchdowns as the Dolphins gained a victory. One of their primary focuses in this Wild Card playoff game is to contain him and stop him from doing it again, but it is going to be hard with some of the players that won’t be on the field on Sunday.

Linebacker Anthony Chickillo has been ruled as out with a nagging ankle injury that kept him out of practice throughout the entire week. Linebacker Vince Williams (shoulder) also missed a couple of days of practice and was limited on Friday, so he is being seen as questionable for the game against the Dolphins.

Defensive end Ricardo Mathews is also listed as out with an ankle injury, and it is one that came about in the season finale. Yes, the game that meant virtually nothing and resulted in a slim victory over the Cleveland Browns caused the Steelers to be without a defensive player who has contributed nicely for them this season.

The possible return of tight end Ladarius Green, but it’s still up in the air

Tight end Ladarius Green has missed the last few weeks with a concussion and the Steelers were really hoping to have him back by the beginning of the playoffs. As of Friday, Green was listed as questionable and head coach Mike Tomlin stated that the team “didn’t get the type of results” they wanted out of him this week.

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Green remains in the NFL’s concussion protocol and it is not yet known if he will be cleared and able to return on Sunday. If he can’t go, Jesse Games will end up starting in his place.

Dolphins without starting quarterback again, but a few others fill out injury report

Miami is also dealing with a number of injuries on their side of things, so it isn’t as if they are entirely healthy. Earlier this week, quarterback Ryan Tannehill was ruled out due to his sprained MCL and ACL in his left knee, and Matt Moore will start again. Even though Tannehill was thought to be close to gametime ready, he just couldn’t get there this week.

If Miami happens to make it past the Steelers, they are hopeful that Tannehill will be ready to go, but they aren’t yet looking that far ahead.

Tannehill is the only player listed as out, but cornerback Byron Maxwell (ankle) is doubtful and it is not yet known if he will be able to play. Linebacker Jelani Jenkins (knee), safety Bacarri Rambo (chest), cornerback Tony Lippett (thigh), and center/guard Kraig Urbik (knee) are all questionable and could possibly play against the Steelers.

Out:

  • (LB) Anthony Chuckillo (Ankle) – Did Not Participate In Practice
  • (DE) Ricardo Mathews (Ankle) – Did Not Participate In Practice
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Questionable:

  • (S) Robert Golden (Ankle) – Limited Participation In Practice
  • (TE) Ladarius Green (Concussion) – Limited Participation In Practice
  • (LB) Vince Williams (Shoulder) – Limited Participation In Practice