View Full Version : Steelers' Carter set to take field Sunday

09-26-2009, 12:12 AM
Steelers' Carter set to take field Sunday
By Scott Brown and Kevin Gorman
Saturday, September 26, 2009

Steelers safety Tyrone Carter went through a full practice Friday but stood out because he was the only player wearing practice pants on a day the rest of the team wore shorts.

"I've got to put a thigh pad on the left (leg)," said Carter, who did not practice Wednesday and was limited Thursday because of a thigh contusion. "It felt great. I'm trying to protect myself. It ain't sore no more. I'm just being cautious, so I don't get hit in the knee in the same spot."

Carter said he's "good, thank God" for Sunday's game at Cincinnati, where he is listed as probable and is expected to make his second consecutive start in place of All-Pro Troy Polamalu (knee). Not that Carter was concerned about being ready to play.

"I wasn't worried at all," Carter said. "I just figured with the rest and the treatment that I was doing, each day it was getting better and better. The swelling was going down. I know I'll be ready for Sunday. I was just counting down, not overworking myself and not trying to rush myself back."

If Carter doesn't start, second-year safety Ryan Mundy, a Woodland Hills graduate, will likely take his place.

"If I wasn't able to play, I've got all the confidence in the world in Ryan Mundy," Carter said. "He's been doing a great job. I wasn't too worried about that. I was just worried about getting myself back, so I could help the team out."

Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and wide receiver Limas Sweed participated fully in practice again yesterday. Both are expected to play against the Bengals. Sweed missed last Sunday's game with a foot injury, while the Steelers eased Timmons back into action against the Bears after he missed the Sept. 10 season opener because of a sprained ankle. Timmons played primarily in passing situations against the Bears but he is expected to start tomorrow in Cincinnati.

"I'm getting better," Timmons said.

Timmons said he doesn't anticipate having any problems with fatigue even though he missed significant practice after spraining his left ankle in an Aug. 29 exhibition game.

"It's football," he said. "I'll be all right."

The Steelers have played against two stout defenses, and it won't get any easier for them tomorrow in Cincinnati. That is what offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said when assessing the Bengals' defense.

"Might be the best we've played so far," Arians said. "Their linebacker play has improved tremendously, and Tank Johnson has been a good addition. (Domata) Peko, I've always felt, is one of the better guys we've faced inside, and (Antwan) Odom is playing at a high level."

Odom, a defensive end, leads the NFL with seven sacks. He had five in the Bengals' 31-24 win in Green Bay last Sunday.

The Bengals will be without cornerback David Jones (foot) and offensive tackle Andre Smith (foot), their first-round pick this year, against the Steelers. Both have been ruled out with injuries. Defensive tackle Jonathan Fanene and defensive end Michael Johnson who both have illnesses and guard Nate Livings (knee) are questionable. Running back Cedric Benson (ankle), wide receiver Chris Henry (quadricep), cornerback Jonathan Joseph (ankle) and defensive end Odom not injury related are probable. Fanene, Johnson and Odom did not practice yesterday, and Livings was limited.


"It's probably the biggest game they've had in a long time. They're coming off a big win in Green Bay. They lost on a fluke play. They've got a lot of new guys, a lot of new draft picks. It's not the Cincinnati of old. Usually, you get up on them, and they fold it all in and call it quits. This team's got a lot of fire in it. It's always hard to win on the road, especially playing our divisional games. Their fans are going to rally behind them, and it's going to be an exciting ballgame." Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, on the Bengals

09-26-2009, 12:14 AM
Steelers Notebook: Carter being careful with thigh injury
Saturday, September 26, 2009
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Tyrone Carter was overdressed for practice yesterday. He had good reason. It was his first and only work of the week with the starting defensive unit, thus he felt the need to don game pants and shoulder pads while the rest of the Steelers were in shorts and shells.

"I'm good. I'm good," he pronounced afterward, meaning the backup to injured Troy Polamalu appears hale enough to start tomorrow against Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium.

Yet, the left thigh he bruised against Chicago last week remains a concern.

"I got to put a little thigh pad on the left [leg]," said Carter, a veteran of 10 seasons and 42 starts. "Still trying to protect myself. It isn't sore anymore. But just to be cautious, so I can't get hit again in that same spot.

"With the rest and the treatment I've been doing, each day it was getting better, the swelling was going down. With that many days, I knew I'd be ready for Sunday."

Practice ended with 52 hours left before kickoff, more time for Carter to heal. If something happens to cause him to miss the start, or the game, Woodland Hills High's Ryan Mundy is next in line at strong safety.
Not the same defense

It isn't exactly a new-look Cincinnati defense, but many members of that unit will look new to the Steelers.

Four Bengals defenders slated to start tomorrow didn't face the Steelers in either of their meetings last season: free-agent acquisitions Tank Johnson at right defensive tackle and strong safety Roy Williams, plus rookie strongside linebacker Rey Maualuga and journeyman free safety Chris Crocker, who moved into the starting lineup late in 2008. Two others started in only one Steelers game in '08: right defensive end Antwan Odom and weakside linebacker Keith Rivers, whose season was famously ended by a Hines Ward block against which the NFL later created a rule.

"A lot of our coaches pointed out, both times we played them last year, they were missing two or three key guys," tight end Heath Miller said. "So in that respect, when we play them this week, they'll be 100 percent healthy."

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians added: "They've got 11 guys they didn't have last year when we played them either time. They're going to be a heck of a challenge."
Injury report

Odom, the NFL sack leader with seven and the fastest to register that many in the 28 years of such stat-keeping, missed practice yesterday because of what Bengals officials listed as a non-injury related issue. He is expected to start tomorrow.

The Bengals also listed starting left guard Nate Livings (knee), limited in practice all week, as questionable and three more regulars as probable: running back Cedric Benson (ankle), receiver Chris Henry (quadriceps) and cornerback Jonathan Joseph (ankle). Out are reserve cornerback David Jones (foot) and offensive tackle Andre Smith (foot).

For the Steelers, 2008 Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison was excused from practice yesterday and is listed as probable for tomorrow despite an illness, which wasn't considered serious. Polamalu remains out while Carter, receiver Limas Sweed (foot) plus starting linebacker Lawrence Timmons (ankle) remain probable.
Chuck Finder can be reached at cfinder@post-gazette.com.

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