View Full Version : Steelers safety Polamalu limps out of game

11-16-2009, 06:09 AM
Steelers safety Polamalu limps out of game
By Scott Brown
Monday, November 16, 2009

The Steelers are hoping to get good news about strong safety Troy Polamalu, who re-injured his left knee in the Steelers' 18-12 loss Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field.

Polamalu left the game in the first quarter and did not return. He had an MRI taken on the knee that he sprained in the season opener Sept. 10.

After the game, several of Polamalu's teammates said they did not know the severity of the injury. Asked how it happened, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "I don't know the details of it."

Tomlin is well aware of the impact if Polamalu is out for an extended period. He missed four games earlier this season when his knee first was injured.

The five-time Pro Bowler is one of the Steelers' most indispensable players on defense as his speed, instincts and versatility allow defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to line him up all over the field.

Polamalu made one tackle yesterday he dumped Bengals running back Cedric Benson for a 3-yard loss before leaving the game. He leads the Steelers with three interceptions.

"Obviously, we're a different defense with Troy out there no matter who's playing safety with him," Steelers free safety Ryan Clark said.

The Steelers are hoping to get starting defensive end Travis Kirschke back for their game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Kirschke has missed the Steelers' past two games because of a strained calf. In addition to Kirschke, fullback Carey Davis didn't play in the Steelers' 18-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Joining them on the inactive list were cornerback Keiwan Ratliff, wide receiver Shaun McDonald, guard Kraig Urbik, offensive tackle Tony Hills, defensive end Sunny Harris and quarterback Dennis Dixon.

Rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace returned a kickoff for the first time this season. It came midway through the third quarter, and Wallace gained 26 yards. Wallace is arguably the fastest player on the team, and Tomlin said he went into the game intent on getting a look at Wallace in the kickoff return game.

"We've been preparing Mike throughout the season," Tomlin said. "He's got a nice resume in that regard when we drafted him."

Three of the Steelers' five penalties yesterday came in the fourth quarter, including an unnecessary roughness call on outside linebacker James Harrison. Harrison hit Andrew Whitworth after the Bengals left tackle blasted him at the end of a running play. The penalty gave the Bengals 15 yards on a drive that ended with a 43-yard Shayne Graham field goal.

"We've got to play sharper than that," Tomlin said of Harrison's penalty, "regardless of the circumstances that led up to it or what happened."

Rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis left the game in the second quarter with a rib injury and did not return. Lewis was hurt while covering a punt.

Stefan Logan established a career high when he returned a punt 25 yards in the second quarter. That set up a 33-yard field goal by Jeff Reed.


7 Consecutive games in which the Steelers' opponent has scored a defensive or special teams touchdown.

171 Consecutive regular-season games in which Hines Ward has caught at least one pass, a team record.


"I felt like we beat ourselves in a lot of instances, but I give credit to them because they played a great game and they stuck to their game plan." Steelers left tackle Max Starks, on the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

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

11-16-2009, 06:11 AM
Here's hoping Polamalu will return soon
Monday, November 16, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Steelers defensive backs Troy Polamalu and William Gay break up a pass intended for Bengals wide receiver Laveranues Coles.

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The Steelers' collective psyche after a day when their offense did nothing, their defense couldn't make a late stand and their special teams were absolutely atrocious in a brutal home loss to a division opponent? It's just fine, thank you very much. "The season didn't end today," linebacker LaMarr Woodley growled. "There's a lot of football left to be played."

But All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu's left knee? That might be a much different story. His potentially serious injury yesterday was, by far, the worst part of the hurtful 18-12 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, a defeat that left the Steelers in a jackpot as far as the AFC North Division race goes and means they probably will have to take the dangerous wild-card road to the playoffs.

"Not Troy. Not again," safety Ryan Clark said.

Your sentiments exactly, right?

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin revealed little about Polamalu's injury, saying only that he was off at the hospital for an MRI. It's encouraging that the players acted as if the injury wasn't season-ending; ordinarily, they aren't deceitful enough to hide the truth. Then again, the players might not have known how significant Polamalu's problem is. No one was quite sure when he was hurt, although it is believed it happened when he tackled running back Cedric Benson for a 3-yard loss during the Bengals' first possession.

"Normally, he sits right next to me on the bench," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "He was there when we came off the field and then he was gone. It was like he's a ghost."

If Polamalu has to miss at least a few games, which seems likely, it will be a tough blow for him. He was just starting to get back to his otherworldly self after missing four games because of an injury to the same knee in the opener against the Tennessee Titans. He had interceptions in two of the previous three games and, even more significantly, showed the closing burst that separates him from all other defensive players.

If Polamalu is out for a long time, if not for the year, it might be too much for the Steelers to overcome. It's one thing having a star missing games early in the season. It's something much worse having him missing them down the stretch. The Steelers are lucky, to be sure, Tyrone Carter is a wonderful backup. "I thought he made a bunch of big run-stopping plays today," Keisel said. "Every guy in this locker room has complete faith in T.C." No doubt that's true. But Carter is no Polamalu. No one is.

"Troy isn't just the best player on our team," Clark said. "He's the best player in the league. ...

"If he's only out a week or two, the defense probably can sustain and win games. But if he's out longer? Playing against the [Baltimore] Ravens twice? That would be tough.

"But this is the NFL. One way or the other, you've got to go on. No one is going to say, 'Y'all lost Troy. We'll give you a break.' It doesn't work that way. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us."

If the Steelers do fall short in the division chase or -- worse -- in the wild-card race, they'll look back at this game the same way they will at their 23-20 loss in Cincinnati Sept. 27 when, playing without Polamalu, they blew a 20-9 lead in the fourth quarter. "This feels like we let 'em get away again," linebacker James Farrior said.

The offense couldn't get in the end zone, not one time. "We were kind of guessing and we were a little timid out there," offensive tackle Max Starks said, observations you never want to hear on a NFL Sunday.

The defense couldn't prevent the Bengals from running off more than five minutes of clock down the stretch or keep them from stretching their lead to six points with a field goal even though Benson -- the league's No. 2 rusher coming in -- was out with a hip problem after just seven carries. "That's on us," Woodley said.

And the special teams, well, what would a Steelers game be without an opponent's kickoff return for a touchdown? Rookie Bernard Scott's 96-yard return was the third in four games against the Steelers, leaving Tomlin flummoxed. "I'd put myself out there if I thought I could do the job," he said.

Add it all up and you get one of the biggest wins in the Bengals' not-so-glorious history.

"Very sweet. Very sweet. I'm almost diabetic right now, it's so sweet," linebacker Brandon Johnson gushed.

The Bengals, who have made the playoffs once since 1990, are in a fabulous spot even though their 7-2 record is just one game better than the Steelers' 6-3 mark. They are 5-0 in division games and have swept the Steelers and Ravens. The Steelers can win the division only by finishing with a better record than the Bengals. A tie won't do it. That means if the Bengals go 4-3 down the stretch, the Steelers would have to go 6-1.

"They're going to be the division champs," Clark said, flatly. "I know they haven't won it yet. But we'll probably have to win out to win it."

That's unlikely even with a healthy Polamalu. It seems darn near impossible without him for very long.

Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
First published on November 16, 2009 at 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09320/1013824-87.stm#ixzz0X1XC3lGg

11-16-2009, 07:20 AM
They will miss Troy. But they should be fine.
The remaining teams on the Steelers schedule all have losing record - except for Miami.
Steelers should be able to run the table and winn all the games.

Galax Steeler
11-16-2009, 11:11 AM
I hope Troy is not our for long we need him going down the stretch. If not hopefully he will be ready for the playoffs. He is a big piece to our defense.

Angus Burgher
11-16-2009, 02:16 PM
Update on Troy...http://www.rotoworld.com/content/playerpages/playerbreakingnews.asp?sport=NFL&id=681&line=159295&spln=1

According to KDKA in Pittsburgh, an MRI revealed that Troy Polamalu's Week 10 knee injury is not as serious as the one he suffered in the Steelers' regular season opener.
The injury is being called a sprain. It's still a concern that Polamalu hurt the same knee that cost him four games earlier this season. Look for Tyrone Carter to start at strong safety for at least the next 2-3 weeks. Nov. 16 - 12:46

11-16-2009, 04:46 PM
Get healthy Troy!

Nadroj 20
11-16-2009, 04:54 PM
They will miss Troy. But they should be fine.
The remaining teams on the Steelers schedule all have losing record - except for Miami.
Steelers should be able to run the table and winn all the games.

except the packers and soon to be ravens after tonight....(both will be 5-4)

Miami is 4-5