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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-17-2009, 07:05 AM
No official word on Steelers safety Polamalu
By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Troy Polamalu attended team meetings Monday afternoon, and he made his way around the Steelers' South Side practice facility without crutches or even a limp.

The Steelers did not give an official update on Polamalu's status yesterday coach Mike Tomlin will address it today at his weekly news conference but the All-Pro strong safety appears to have received a scare more than anything else regarding his left knee injury.

Polamalu left the Steelers' 18-12 loss Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals near the end of the first quarter and didn't return to the game.

Two things made the injury noteworthy, even if Polamalu did not require assistance to leave the field: he re-injured the same knee he sprained in the Steelers' season opener, and he is one of the most high-profile players in the NFL.

Polamalu has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls, and he is widely considered one of the top two safeties in the league, along with Baltimore's Ed Reed.

As Steelers' free safety Ryan Clark said of Polamalu, "He's awesome, there's no other way to say it. He's the best safety in the NFL."

At least one statistic bolsters such an argument.

In the six games this season that Polamalu has missed or played sparingly because of an injury, the Steelers have had just four takeaways.

One of those was a spectacular, one-handed interception by Polamalu on Sept. 10 against the Tennessee Titans. It came before he left the game when Titans tight end Alge Crumpler fell on his knee following a blocked field goal.

In the three games that Polamalu has played, the Steelers have forced eight turnovers, and five of those have been interceptions.

Polamalu picked off two passes during that span, and he leads the Steelers with three interceptions.

"There are some guys in this league you can make a mistake and might be able to get away with it. You can't do that with Troy," Clark said. "He capitalizes on those and makes big plays."

The schedule may allow the Steelers to get Polamalu some extra rest before they play the Ravens on Nov. 29 in Baltimore.

The Steelers visit Kansas City on Sunday, and they could choose to hold Polamalu out of the 1 p.m game as a precaution for several reasons.

The Chiefs are 2-7 and one of the worst teams in the NFL. Also, Tyrone Carter is a capable backup who started four games for Polamalu earlier this season.

"Troy's been out before and Tyrone's come in and done his usual thing. He played great (against the Bengals) and we always have confidence when he comes into the game," Steelers inside linebacker James Farrior said. "You never can really replace a player like Troy. He's one of those special players in the NFL, but Tyrone comes in and does a great job."

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