By Teresa Varley
Wide receiver Santonio Holmes will be inactive on Sunday against the Giants while the team learns more about a traffic stop that resulted in marijuana being found in his car.
"His situation has created somewhat of a distraction," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "We want to minimize that as much as we can and remain focused on the task at hand which is to compete and play against the New York Giants on Sunday. That is where we are at this point. We don't have a great deal of information. We choose to address it as an organization and football team on Monday."
Tomlin met with Holmes on Friday morning and let him know what his status would be for this week and told him to report back to the team's practice facility on Monday.
"I notified him of that and told him I would see him on Monday morning," said Tomlin.
Holmes has not been suspended by the team, but instead will be of one of the inactives that each team is required to have on game day.
Pittsburgh police pulled Holmes over on Thursday when they spotted his SUV, which was similar to one they were looking for in another case. At that point the marijuana was found.
Holmes has had past legal troubles, but Tomlin will not judge him based on the past but instead learn more about the current incident.
"This is the first incident that has happened with Santonio since I have been here," said Tomlin. "I base my judgment on people off our direct interaction. This is how I choose to address it and deal with it at this time. My approach and mentality in regards to the situation might be different next week. Right now I don't have the time or patience to delve into it. We're just going to be prepared to play and play with the men we designate.
"I don't have a great deal of information and this is the direction I choose to go. I choose to remain solely focused on what we have in front of us this weekend as a football team. That decision was made with that in mind."
Nate Washington will get the start on Sunday in place of Holmes and Limas Sweed and Dallas Baker will also see action.
"He has shown that he can consistently be a big-play maker for us and has over the last two games," said Tomlin on Washington. "We are going to need him to play big again on Sunday. He embraces that challenge. He is at a point in his career where he needs to embrace those challenges. We look forward to watching him do that."
Running back Willie Parker missed practice for the second straight day on Friday and Tomlin listed him as doubtful for Sunday's game.
"He showed some good things early in the week," said Tomlin. "His participation got more limited as we went on in the week. That's where we are with this thing. We'll continue to take it day to day. Hopefully he will get back to us soon. I know he is chomping at the bit and so are we."
Defensive end Aaron Smith was excused from practice for the third straight day as he deals with a personal matter and his status for Sunday's game is unknown.
"He has our complete and full support," said Tomlin. "He is going through a tough time right now. I would allow him to address that when he deems it necessary. At this time he has our full support and it's questionable whether or not he will participate this weekend."
Offensive tackle Marvel Smith will not play on Sunday after missing practice again this week with back spasms.
With Holmes out this week and the injuries the Steelers could make a roster move prior to the Giants game.