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BlitzburghRockCity 08-05-2005 12:00 AM

Staley's bum knee not serious...or is it?

Running back Duce Staley indicated he was OK when walking off the field Thursday at the conclusion of the Steelers' training camp workout, but his lack of participation revealed otherwise.
He missed his second consecutive day of camp due to inflammation in his right knee. Coach Bill Cowher said he will hold Staley out of today's two workouts and expects him back Saturday.

"It's nothing serious. It's precautionary," Cowher said.

Staley had the knee drained two days ago to reduce the swelling and has been icing the injury at workouts. The 30-year-old back, who was held out of the team's run test Monday, practiced Tuesday, but has not participated since.

Staley has struggled with injuries throughout his career, including a bruised hamstring that forced him to miss six games last season and a season-ending foot injury in 2000.

"He's fine, it's nothing that we haven't done in the past," Cowher said. "Like I've said, we're just monitoring that. He'll be back out there Saturday."

Cowher said Staley is not undergoing any special treatments other than the fact he had the fluid drained.

Staley is expected to be the Steelers' featured back this season, but who would fill his role if he were unable to go? Jerome Bettis filled in solidly last season, nearly rushing for 1,000 yards, but he is 33 and would prefer to see his number of attempts reduced. He ran the ball 250 times last season.

Second-year back Willie Parker could be asked to play a more prominent role, in addition to four-year veteran Verron Haynes, and, perhaps, rookie Noah Herron, who's looked good at camp.

Cowher said he is confident in Haynes, a third-down back, and Parker, who was the hit of training camp last season. Haynes had 272 yards last season, and Parker had 186 with a 5.8-yard rushing average.

"I think Willie, like a lot of second-year players, is so much more comfortable now. He knows what to anticipate and what to expect. ... Noah Herron has done some good things since he's been here. So that's another guy we'll get a good chance to look at in the preseason and a lot of Verron."

bigbensgirl7 08-05-2005 12:04 AM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
I think we have solid depth in our RBs. Even if something were to happen to Duce, we'd be just fine. I think Duce will be ok though!

clevestinks 08-05-2005 04:26 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
Duce was dressed but didn't practice. I was wondering what was wrong. Being in Ocean city the past week I lost touch.

Prosdo 08-06-2005 02:54 AM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
Can't slow down
Let's just say Cowher didn't waste any breath trying to talk him out of it. "He still has a lot left in the tank," Cowher says. "His feet are still as quick as any I've seen in the NFL. His long-speed has probably suffered, but he certainly can pick and slide in the hole as well as anybody."

Going into camp, the idea was Bettis would slide into the reduced role for which he'd been slated last season. With the Steelers having signed Staley from the Eagles to be the primary ball carrier, Bettis opened 2004 with one of the most statistically bizarre games of the fantasy-football era -- five carries, 1 yard and three touchdowns in a victory over the Raiders -- and had just 64 total yards before Halloween. He finished with 941, then gained another 165 in the playoffs.

This year, he may be leaned upon even earlier. Staley skipped practice on Wednesday, and a team source said he is strongly contemplating having arthroscopic surgery to drain fluid from both knees -- meaning Bettis likely would hit the ground running once the regular season begins.

No matter what happens, Bettis will make sure to appreciate what may or may not be his final season. It's something he's been doing for awhile now. Coming off an injury-plagued 2002 campaign, Bettis figured he'd play one more year and then walk away. "In 2003 I did everything a little slower and consciously looked at things differently because I thought that would be it," he says. "In '04 I cherished every moment because I thought it could be my last. This year, I want to take each day as it comes and appreciate it, no matter how it plays out."

There can be only one happy ending, of course: Bettis, a Detroit native, winning Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.

"Last year energized him and gave him a boost," Roethlisberger says of Bettis. "So he decided to come back, and since the Super Bowl is in Detroit, I think that might have had a little something to do with it. Oh, man, if we were about to win it? That's one time when I'd take a snap, take a knee and give that ball to him right away."


This is news I really don't like to hear. I have alot of faith in Bettis don't get me wrong, but this isn't how you want to start off the season. I'm not really sure how long that kind of procedure would keep you out for. Anyone have any idea on that? Also not sure how much truth this article bares. Cowher said it is nothing serious so got to wonder.

clevestinks 08-06-2005 06:56 AM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
Duce will practice today . Bus won't. If Duce doesnt stay healthy this year. Will he be gone at years end?

Volpe1564 08-06-2005 05:35 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
i think if he doesnt stay healthy he will be gone as well......we dont need another kendrell bell....and cowher knows that...

TheTeenieSteeler 08-06-2005 06:36 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
I was coming out of the mountains today and my radio was coming in and out a little fuzzy. But I swear I heard (ESPN radio) Duce is getting an MRI on his knee..... Anyone else hear this?

TheTeenieSteeler 08-06-2005 06:39 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious

I found it and he is going to get one.......sigh

BlitzburghRockCity 08-06-2005 06:58 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
I dont believe Duce is going anywhere. We've got a nice deal wrapped up in him and good depth around him as well. He's a good back w/ great acceleration and runs with alot of power. I wouldnt think we'd cut him after only this year if he doesnt get healthy, not just yet.

But dont jinx him !!

Prosdo 08-06-2005 09:15 PM

Re: Staley's bum knee not serious
If Duce gets healthy he will do awesome, but I definitely don't want to see another Kendrell situation.

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