Dwyer in position to carry run game
BY F. DALE LOLLEY
PITTSBURGH – The lineup just keep changing for the Steelers.
And not by choice.
While linebacker LaMarr Woodley will be back for the Steelers’ crucial game Sunday night at Cincinnati (3-3) after sitting out last week with a hamstring strain, Pittsburgh (2-3) will be without its two leading rushers against the Bengals.
Both Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman were declared out for Sunday’s game on Friday by head coach Mike Tomlin, meaning thirdstringer Jonathan Dwyer will get his first start this season.
Mendenhall aggravated his Achilles’ tendon in last week’s 26-23 loss at Tennessee, while Redman suffered a sprained ankle.
Dwyer, who has not been active the past two games after losing a fumble in a loss at Oakland, will be backed up by Baron Batch and rookie Chris Rainey.
“He hasn’t played in a couple weeks,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace of Dwyer. “This is a chance to get his helmet back and do some good things out there.”
While Mendenhall and Redman will be out, the Steelers are hopeful that center Maurkice Pouncey will play. Pouncey went through individual workouts again Friday after suffering a sprained MCL against the Titans and is questionable to play against the Bengals.
If he is unable to play, Doug Legursky would start at center and anchor an offensive line already missing starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who will miss at least a month with a torn tendon in his ankle.
Rookie Mike Adams will make his first career start in place of Gilbert.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who left practice Thursday after rolling his ankle, was back Friday and is not listed on the Steelers’ injury report.
In addition to Mendenhall, Redman and Gilbert, linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) are out for the Steelers.