Starks practices, takes reps with first team

Life has been moving in fast-forward for Max Starks since he signed back with the Steelers in July.
Starks, who is coming off a torn ACL suffered in the wild card playoff game against the Broncos last season, opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list and is now preparing to potentially play against the Buffalo Bills on Saturday night.

"This quickly, in the preseason was not in my mind initially," said Starks about playing. "The regular season was my goal. I'm happy to have made it this far. To now put (the knee) under duress will be a good indication. I am happy to be back in the fold.

"We are going to try to figure out after today (if I will play) depending on how practice goes and then make a determination of how I fit in."

Starks participated in a good portion of Tuesday's practice, but not all of it, and seemed to hold up well.

"I just did some first team reps," said Starks. "I did the run, pass and blitz sections. I didn't do any of the pass under pressure stuff.

"It felt okay. I felt a little slow. I felt comfortable with the terminology and response times, but the legs felt a little slow."

Now it's just a matter of how the knee responds in the next day as to not only if Starks will play, but if he will start at left tackle.

"I will know tomorrow morning, make sure the knee doesn't swell up," said Starks. "It's on my health more than anything.

"If I can go out and play and execute I think I have a good chance (of starting)."

Starks said being a veteran helps with the ability to step in and play without a lot of notice, but he still needs to get comfortable with some things in Todd Haley's offense so that he is in sync with the rest of the offensive line.

"It's a new offense, not like the old offense where I felt like I could plug in because I had a rapport with the offensive line," said Starks. "I still have a rapport with the offensive line, but the terminology and communication is something we need to be cleaner on."

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