By Teresa Varley
If you had any question as to whether the timing of the bye week is good or bad for the Steelers all you need to do is walk into the team's training room.
"It's a great time," said cornerback Ike Taylor, who peaked in to the training room, but quickly made his way out of there. "We have a lot of guys down. The bye week couldn't come at a better time."
Even if Taylor wanted to go in the training room, it's likely he couldn't find a place to sit down. Space has been scarce.
The Steelers were without four starters on Sunday night in Jacksonville, missing defensive linemen Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton, running back Willie Parker and fullback Carey Davis.
"It's definitely good timing," said Parker, who expects to be back following the bye when the Steelers face the Bengals in Cincinnati. "I wish we had another one. I know we are going to face a time like this again a little later in the season. We have a lot of people injured. It's going to work in our favor to get guys back."
Defensive end Nick Eason also missed the Jaguars game with a groin injury and is looking forward to the extra week to get healthy.
"There is never good timing mentally for an injury, but it's good timing as far as having an extra week to rest without a game," said Eason. "The recovery time shortens for you so you don't miss another game. That helps me out and the team out because we need everybody out there healthy and strong. We are playing well without a lot of guys, but the season is long so they are going to need us at some point."
Running back and defensive line are two of the positions where the most damage has been done injury-wise and for a guy like Eason, who was seeing more playing time with Keisel and Hampton out, getting injured frustrating for him.
"It is, but things happen for a reason," said Eason. "I don't let it mentally get me down. The good thing is it's not a season-ending injury. I look at the positive side of things. We're banged up and there will be more guys getting banged up before long. I get to come back and finish off where I started. I have to continue to work hard and stay mentally strong and when I get my opportunity to get back on the field just keep doing what I was doing."
Ben Roethlisberger, who didn't practice the week leading up to the Jaguars game, is happy to have the break as well.
"It's a good time this week, not just for me, but for a lot of the guys," said Roethlisberger." A lot of guys got beat up (this week), but we kind of knew that was going to happen. I knew it was going to be a physical fight and it was just that. So the bye comes at a good time for us to get some rest."