Some good news on injury front

There is some good news on the injury front, especially regarding tackle Max Starks. Starks left the Falcons game early on Sunday after suffering an ankle injury, but it doesn't appear to be as bad as some initially speculated.

"Max Starks has an inversion ankle sprain, which in layman's terms is a low ankle sprain," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "I know it was reported as a high ankle sprain, that report was inaccurate. It's a low ankle sprain. I saw him this morning, he appears to be doing better, he might be able to do something the latter part of the week and make himself available to us in this football game."

If Starks can't go on Sunday against the Titans in Tennessee, Jonathan Scott will start at left tackle and Tony Hills will likely be the backup swing tackle, although he will compete with Ramon Foster in practice this week for that spot.

"We are comfortable with Jonathan Scott and what he is capable of," said Tomlin, who said that Flozell Adams will remain at right tackle. "He has been a big addition to our outfit and we expect him to play great ball if Max is unavailable."

Nose tackle Casey Hampton suffered a hamstring injury against the Falcons and his status this week is also in question.

"We are going to watch him closely throughout the week," said Tomlin. "We are hopeful he might be able to do something but it's up in the air at this point."

Chris Hoke will get the start if Hampton doesn't go, but the team will be prepared to rotate in Ziggy Hood and Nick Eason to keep everyone fresh.

"All of those guys have position flexibility," said Tomlin. "It really depends on the amount of base defense we might see. That issue might be solved for us if we end up in a bunch of sub-package football. Chris Hoke will be our guy and others are capable.

"We are going into a hostile environment, it's a 12 o'clock central kickoff, and it's in Nashville. I don't know what the weather forecast will be. But fatigue can be a factor. They have a good back (Chris Johnson) who is backed up by a very good back in Javon Ringer. We'll deal with it like we always do."

Quarterback Byron Leftwich, who suffered a knee sprain the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers, is making progress.

"(He) appears to be doing a little better with his knee sprain," said Tomlin. "We are going to give him some work in a limited capacity probably tomorrow and see where we go from there."

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