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Injuries force depth chart changes

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Coach Mike Tomlin provided an injury update on Tuesday.

With injuries come changes to the depth chart, and on Tuesday that was evident as Kion Wilson is now listed as the starter at left inside linebacker. Wilson replaces Larry Foote, now on injured reserve with a biceps injury, and rookie Vince Williams will serve as his backup.

Kelvin Beachum will take over the role of starting center in the absence of Maurkice Pouncey, out for the season with a knee injury. Beachum will be backed up by newly signed Fernando Velasco.

At running back Isaac Redman and Le’Veon Bell continue to be listed as co-starters, although Bell still has not practiced in the regular season with a foot injury. Felix Jones is listed as second on the depth chart and Jonathan Dwyer, who was re-signed on Monday to replace injured LaRod Stephens-Howling, is listed third.

“It’s a positive when you can add somebody that knows your culture, what you are doing schematically,” said Coach Mike Tomlin of Dwyer. “We’ll get him back into the fold. He will be a quick plug in there.”

Kicker Shaun Suisham suffered a hamstring injury against the Titans, and while Tomlin said it was not a significant the team did bring in kicker Shayne Graham as a safety net. Tomlin said that Graham is a “kicking option for us,” but hasn’t ruled out Suisham playing.

 “He has a chance,” said Tomlin. “We are going to work him out at the later part of the week to determine his availability. In the meanwhile we will work with Shayne Graham. I think the extra day of work is going to help us in some of these areas.”

Cornerback Cortez Allen sustained an ankle injury against the Titans and is expected to miss practice in the early part of the week, but with the extra day because of a Monday night game against the Bengals could be worked back onto the field later in the week.

There was no concrete update on when tight end Heath Miller will return to the lineup as he works his way back from an ACL injury suffered at the end of last season, other than the fact that he will work his way back to more team drills during practice. 

“We’ll increase his work this week and we’ll have a better understanding of where he is after a full day’s work on Wednesday,” said Tomlin.

 * * *

Foote underwent surgery on Tuesday for his biceps injury, while Stephens-Howling (knee) will have surgery on Wednesday and Pouncey will undergo surgery on Thursday. 

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