By Teresa Varley
The Steelers will be thin at wide receiver in practice early this week, with Hines Ward and Mike Wallace both banged up and Limas Sweed out for the season.
Wallace has a knee laceration, suffered against the Packers before he made the game-winning catch with no time on the clock. Ward had a "minor setback" to the hamstring injury he suffered against the Raiders.
"We will limit him at the early part of the week," said Coach Mike Tomlin of Ward. "We will evaluate him on a day-to-day basis."
Sweed was placed on the reserve/non-football illness list, but no further details have been provided.
"It's appropriate right now that we say very little in regards to his personal issues," said Tomlin. "I will say this: It's a non-football illness; he has our full support; and anything else I'll say will be in regards to protecting his privacy."
With Sweed out of the mix the team signed veteran Joey Galloway. Galloway, a 15-year veteran, was with the New England Patriots at the start of the season before being released on Oct. 20. He has 689 career receptions for 10,777 yards and 77 touchdowns.
"He is a guy I have a background with," said Tomlin. "I worked with him in the past. We explored the potential of signing Joey last offseason. He is a veteran player whose resume speaks for itself. He is one of those unique guys in that he is in great physical condition for a seasoned veteran. He can run.
"He has done just about there is to do in this business except win in the post-season, which is what he told me. Hopefully he can provide a little energy and spirit for us, some veteran savvy leadership."
The key now is getting Galloway, who was meeting with coaches on Tuesday, up to speed on the Steelers offense so he will be ready if needed Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
"Whether or not he is a fourth wide out, a fifth wide out or an inactive wide out depends on the speed of which he learns as we proceed throughout the week," said Tomlin. "He has played a little bit of football. It wouldn't surprise me if he is capable of learning what we do."
The team also welcomed back long snapper Jared Retkofsky, who signed with the team last October when Greg Warren was injured and snapped in Super Bowl XLIII. Retkofsky will take Warren's roster spot after he was placed in injured reserve with a torn ACL.
"It's fortunate for us that a guy like that is available, with that kind of experience, but also the kind of experience that comes with being a part of this thing, being in our locker room and knowing how we do business," said Tomlin. "Jared is ready to go. We look forward to moving forward to him."
In other injury news, Rashard Mendenhall suffered a hip contusion and Brett Keisel a stinger against the Packers and both will be limited in practice at the start of the week.
Safety Troy Polamalu underwent an MRI on Tuesday and his status for the game is unknown.
"The results of his MRI are going to dictate what direction we take like it has in recent weeks," said Tomlin.