Tomlin: Steelers' Colon, Heyward out for preseason opener in Philadelphia
August 7, 2012
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pittsburgh Steelers guard Willie Colon during workouts at St Vincent College in Latrobe.
Guard Willie Colon and defensive end Cameron Heyward are the only Steelers players who have already been ruled out for Thursday night's preseason opener in Philadelphia, coach Mike Tomlin said today.
But Tomlin said the list of injured players who will not face the Eagles could grow after today's afternoon practice.
"Both guys finish and they're smart, young guys," Tomlin said at a morning news conference at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. "We'll know more about them Thursday night."
Adams has moved ahead of Trai Essex on the depth chart and is working with the No. 1 offense. But it remains to be seen if he will stay there when Max Starks, the incumbent at left tackle, comes off the physically unable to perform list.
Without Colon, the Steelers will start Ramon Foster at left guard and let rookie No. 1 pick David DeCastro start at right guard.
That means the team's top two draft choices -- DeCastro and left tackle Mike Adams, their No. 2 pick -- will start together on the offensive line for the first preseason game in what is perhaps a portent of things to come.
Tomlin said both starting units will play a minimum of one to two series and that No. 4 quarterback Jerrod Johnson will play most of the second half.
He did not say how he will use his quarterbacks in the first half, including how much -- or whether -- Ben Roethlisberger will play.
Roethlisberger has sat out most of the past two practices after his left foot was stepped on in practice Saturday.
Tomlin said rookie running back Chris Rainey, the team's No. 5 pick from Florida, will return kickoffs and punts to start the game.