As everyone knows the NFL is a violent sport. Injuries are part of the game. Last year during their Super Bowl run the Steelers were very fortunate to be relatively healthy. And when backups played - they were capable and played at a high level.
This year is not the case. They are weaker in key areas. Linebacker is particularly weak. With the release of Foote, Timmons is now the starter. The back ups are Keron Fox and Bruce Davis - neither whom have played anything except special teams at the highest level. T. Carter backs up both safety positions and plays in nickel/dime packages. Our three safeties have to stay healthy, we have no one capable behind in the depth chart. CB provides some depth but is young and unproven. Our DL is old and has trouble staying healthy as of late. Our first round pick of "Ziggy" Hood will provide an adaqute security blanket.
Our OL has no proven backups - all our proven backups are now starters. Urbik is a project. Shipley is a practice squad player. That in itself is a scary fact - that a weak unit from last year actually got weaker.
Our two most important positions OL and LB (in 3/4 D) are our weakest - with no proven backups. With the weak OL it also opens Ben up to getting injured. And as with most teams, if our starting QB is hurt we will have a top ten pick.
Now I understand the Steelers have an incredible history with "reloading" from with in. I just believe Free Agency and late round draft picks have finally caught up to us. Our starters will be not have the luxury to be spelled for series and as a result more injuries will occur.
A lack of depth along with the return of that stinky QB up east will be the Steelers undoing. One thing is for sure, the training staff will have their hands full - Thankfully UPMC is among the best.