The Steelers prepare for the week 6 match up against the Arizona Cardinals.
Steelers safety Robert Golden spent this week getting ready for his 53rd career NFL game in much the same way as he had the previous 52.
"I prepare every game like I'm going to start," Golden insisted.
It may finally come to that on Sunday against Arizona at Heinz Field.
Safety Will Allen (ankle) didn't practice on Wednesday, Thursday or today after playing just eight defensive snaps in Monday night's 24-20 win at San Diego and has been ruled out for the Cardinals game.
That has Golden positioned to make the first start of his four-year NFL career.
He played a season-high 67 snaps on defense against the Chargers, mostly at strong safety for Allen but also at free safety briefly for Mike Mitchell.
That's how it goes when you come out of the bullpen at a moment's notice.
Golden, the Steelers' special teams captain, had played only 29 defensive snaps in the previous four games, including just five since the regular-season opener on Sept. 10 at New England.
"I feel like I'm going to get better as I get more reps throughout the game," Golden said. "I was comfortable with the gameplan. I just tried to come in and hold up the standard."
San Diego opened with a five-play, 84-yard drive for a touchdown and was limited to 13 points thereafter.
But it's not as if the Steelers will be able to merely pick up against the Cardinals where they had left off against the Chargers.
"Each week presents new challenges," Golden said. "We're happy with the victory but we want to continue to get better."
OUT: S Will Allen (ankle), QB Ben Roethlisberger (knee), LB Ryan Shazier (shoulder).
QUESTIONABLE: CB Cortez Allen (knee), LB Jarvis Jones (hip).
PROBABLE:LB James Harrison (illness), NT Daniel McCullers (knee).