Things starting to improve on injury front


By Teresa Varley

Cornerback Bryant McFadden practiced on Tuesday, but head coach Mike Tomlin said that he will not play on Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals as he continues to come back from a broken forearm.

Fellow cornerback Deshea Townsend, who is battling a hamstring injury, did not practice Tuesday and also is not expected to play on Thursday.

Tight end Heath Miller could return to action against the Bengals after missing the last two games. Miller practice on Tuesday, but tight end Matt Spaeth, who has stepped in for him, was limited with a wrist injury.

"We are a team in relatively good health at this point," said Tomlin. "We came out of Sunday evening's game pretty good. The guys that have known or existing injuries are dealing with them, but no one new is added to the list."

Running back Willie Parker returned to action against the Chargers after missing the Colts game with a shoulder injury. He appeared to be back to his old self, not showing any signs of the injury.

"Willie really ran the ball extremely well and hard for us," said Tomlin. "He gave us a Willie Parker type performance. His health is his health. I think he is doing fine. The standard is the standard. I know he is excited. Willie is the guy that wants the football and wants to be the reason why we win. I enjoy that part of dealing with him. In the short week we will go out there and play again and proceed."

      • Because of the Thursday night game the Steelers only have two days of practice this week and it helps that they are playing a team that they have already faced this year.

        "Mentally that is the big thing that we have played them before," said safety Ryan Clark. "You have notes on them already. You know how they attacked you the first time. It's not like you are learning something about a team you never faced. That's the good thing, you don't have to watch as much film and going over your notes as much so you can get some rest."

        But no matter how familiar they are with the Bengals, the Steelers know that they always present a challenge for them and will be looking to upset the black and gold.

        "No one thinks this is going to be an easy game by any stretch of the imagination," said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. "We know how tough it's going to be, and like we said, they've played us pretty tough here in recent years. So we're going to get their best shot, and we have to be prepared to give them ours."
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