By Teresa Varley
Steelers Defense Photo Available There was a buzz in the press box prior to the Steelers win over the Chargers when safety Troy Polamalu was not introduced with the rest of the starting defense. But when Polamalu took the field with the defense, introductions were quickly forgotten.
But on Tuesday, head coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Polamalu suffered a strained calf in pregame warm-ups and was in the training room during introductions.
"He was in the back getting treatment and getting taken care of and ready to go," said Tomlin. "I was uncertain whether or not he was going to be able to go until we put the defense on the field and he went by me going on the field."
Polamalu could be held back some in practice this week, but he is expected to start against the Ravens at Heinz Field on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.
"All indications are that he's going to be fine to participate and play in this game," said Tomlin. "I may limit him somewhat in the beginning of the week and err on the side of caution in regards to that. He played above that line in that football game. He feels pretty good as we sit here today. We feel comfortable with that."
Center Justin Hartwig tweaked his knee in the second quarter of the Chargers game. He was fitted for a brace at halftime and was able to continue to play in the second half, helping to lead the way for a strong ground attack.
"He was able to go out and played at a higher level in the second half than he did in the first," said Tomlin. "I don't imagine that will stop him from missing any action this week. Again I may limit him early in the week."
Tomlin isn't worried about Polamalu or Hartwig missing practice time and playing in such a big game.
"We are at the point in the season where it is about getting ready to play and being at the very best that you can be on game day," said Tomlin. "If that means sacrificing a little physical preparation then I am willing to do that."