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mesaSteeler
08-28-2009, 11:43 PM
Steelers QB Dixon's injury not as bad as first feared
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_640594.html#
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dennis Dixon feared the worst after a hit to his throwing shoulder knocked him out of the Steelers' 17-13 loss to the Washington Redskins last Saturday. An MRI revealed no significant damage, though Dixon will be forced to watch tonight from the sidelines when the Steelers play the Buffalo Bills at Heinz Field. he mild separation of the A/C joint that Dixon sustained in his right shoulder halted the progress he had been making during the preseason. Dixon has completed 18 of 35 passes for 180 yards in two preseason games. Dixon, the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback, is probably a long shot to play Thursday in the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers, but he could be cleared to return to practice by the beginning of next week.

Starting running back Willie Parker is questionable for tonight's game because of a hamstring injury. Even if Parker is able to play, coach Mike Tomlin said, Rashard Mendenhall will get plenty of work. Mendenhall, whom the Steelers are hoping can provide a legitimate complement to Parker this season, leads the team with 50 rushing yards on 14 carries through two preseason games. "This guy's had a good camp and a good preseason," Tomlin said. "We just ask that he does more of the same."

Tomlin met with rookie running back Isaac Redman briefly after practice Thursday. And the message he delivered to the undrafted free agent went something like this: the coaches have seen what he can do as a goal-line back, but Redman is going to have to show them more to make the 53-man roster. "A lot of times a guy that's a candidate for that position," Tomlin said of goal-line and short-yardage back, "is because he's a functional special teams player. That's not only what gets him on the team but (also) gets him a game day hat. ... Gary Russell was able to get an opportunity to do those things in the past first and foremost because he was a reliable special teams player and we were able to put him in a game day helmet because he was capable of doing that. Then he had an opportunity to do some other things."

If anyone has separated himself from the group battling for probably just one backup offensive tackle spot on the 53-man roster Tomlin isn't saying. "Each man has had his moments," Tomlin said. Tony Hills, Jeremy Parquet and Jason Capizzi, a Pine-Richland High graduate, are the candidates at backup tackle.

With the NFL recognizing August as "USA Football Month," a group of almost 500 local youth players are expected to be on the field tonight for player introductions and the national anthem.

Digits

0 -- Touchdown passes the Steelers have through two preseason games

27:38 -- Steelers' average time of possession through two preseason games

32:22 -- Opponents' average time of possession

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.