By Teresa Varley
The Steelers have picked a perfect time of year to get healthy. After a season filled with various injuries, the team will have almost a full complement of players when they take on the Ravens on Sunday in Baltimore.
"We are sitting pretty good from an injury standpoint," said head coach Mike Tomlin.
The only player who suffered an injury against the Cowboys was fullback Carey Davis, who had a calf strain.
"That will put his availability into question this week," said Tomlin. "We'll see where he is when he comes in. It is unlikely he will be able to participate fully on (Wednesday). We'll just continue to monitor his situation and hope that he gets better."
Defensive end Brett Keisel, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, is making progress but his status is not known at this time.
"Brett is getting closer, probably close enough to warrant some consideration to participate," said Tomlin. "We'll see how the week develops with him."
With Keisel out, Travis Kirschke has filled in and played at a high level, recording six tackles, a sack and fumble recovery against the Cowboys.
"Travis is doing a heck of a job for us," said Tomlin. "This isn't his first stint. Brett has been down before and he has stepped up and played quality ball for us in the first part of the year along with Chris Hoke and some other guys. That is just part of it. We like that group. We play a lot of those guys. The standard doesn't change. Those guys perform and play winning football for us. We are going to need a big-time contribution from Travis and company this week as they pound that 260-pound back (Willis McGahee) against us."
Cornerback Bryant McFadden returned to action against the Cowboys, although William Gay remained the starter. Tomlin was pleased with McFadden's performance, but didn't indicate if he will start on Sunday or not.
"I thought he did a nice job. He knocked the rust off relatively quickly," said Tomlin. "It looked like he was decisive. He moved around fluidly and made the plays he needed to make. I think William Gay is continuing to play well. Those are good problems to have. We are going to address those as the week unfolds. We feel comfortable with either one of those guys or both of those guys on the field for us."
Offensive tackle Marvel Smith remains status quo and could miss yet another game.
Overall, though, things are good.
"Other than that we have our normal bumps and bruises after a tough, physical football game," said Tomlin. "It may limit a person or two on (Wednesday). I may give some veteran football players an extra day like we normally do."