On Monday Night Football, the Steelers and the Ravens played one of the most physical games I have ever witnessed, in person or in TV. The cart at Heinz Field must have had to fill up on gas at least once from the constant trips on and off the field. The Steelers better have some damn good health insurance because numerous players are currently out or done for the year.
Willie Parker strained his knee in the Steelers game against Philly. He will now sit out for the second consecutive week leaving Mewelde Moore the only running back left.
Rashard Mendenhall started yesterday's game agains Baltimore, but did not finish. He injured his shoulder after being on the receiving end of a Ray Lewis hit. He is done for a while with a season ending shoulder surgery scheduled soon.
That leaves Carey Davis. He sprained an ankle and is questionable as to whether he will play Sunday Night.
With Mewelde Moore the only healthy back left, you have to wonder how much the passing game will matter this Sunday Night at Jacksonville. I feel much better though since the offensive line looked a whole lot more improved from last week's horrible performance.
My solution to the Steelers backfield issues is to sign a good FA. A few weeks ago the Steelers fourth string back Gary Russell was released to the practice squad. They could pull him up from there. They could also think about picking up a free agent like Najeh Davenport, or possibly a player like Ron Dayne, just for a game or to to sure up the running game until we can get starters back.
Those injuries were just running backs.
The Steelers starting right guard Kendall Simmons will also be out for the rest of the year with a ruptured achilles tendon that he suffered during the win against the Ravens. This does not seem too bad to me because I saw a noticeable change in the play of our o-line after he was gone. Maybe he has been the one allowing defenders to waltz into the pocket and sack Roethlisberger.
These injuries come after a slew of other injuries to the Steelers starting lineup. Casey Hampton was already out since the beginning of the season and Brett Kiesel will be out too. These are two of our best defensive linemen and they will miss another game.
The possible replacement options for Kendall Simmons are Darnell Stapleton or the more veterna player Trai Essex. It is also possible that Max Starks could play at tackle and Willie Colon could move over the right guard.
And finally, Ben Roethlisberger. He is not out but is pretty banged up. He has a hurt right knee, a partially separated shoulder, and an injured throwing hand. These injuries are obviously a result of the Steelers sloppy o-line play recently.
If the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to stay atop the AFC North, they have to resolve their injury issues, and quick.