Not that along ago, the Steelers believed they had enough cornerbacks on their roster who could line up and cover that they devised a version of their nickel defense to include four of them plus Troy Polamalu.
Today, they're not all that sure they have four cornerbacks on their roster who are healthy enough to play.
During his weekly news conference, Coach Mike Tomlin explained how the team was going to put Rashard Mendenhall on the injured reserve list with the ACL injury he sustained last Sunday in Cleveland, and based on the condition of the cornerbacks it was no surprise when he announced the other end of the roster move would involve bringing back Anthony Madison.
Madison is a familiar name and arrives with a reputation as a quality special teams player, and Tomlin said covering kicks is going to be his initial assignment.
So, updating the cornerback position, starters Ike Taylor and William Gay are available, as is Bryant McFadden. After that, it seems to be wait-and-see.
There are only two other cornerbacks on the 53-man roster – Cortez Allen and Keenan Lewis, because Curtis Brown had been placed on injured reserve a couple of weeks ago with a knee injury. Tomlin listed Allen, who injured his right shoulder in Cleveland, as "questionable at best," for this weekend's Wild Card Game in Denver, but he was much more confident of the availability of Lewis, who didn't finish the game last Sunday because of his hamstring.
"We anticipate him being fine," said Tomlin about Lewis. "We did an MRI on him yesterday, but there was very little or no damage."
Lewis has been serving as the team's No. 3 cornerback throughout the regular season. And in the meantime, Allen can begin rehabilitating a shoulder injury that doesn't appear to be as bad as it looked last Sunday in Cleveland.