Steelers Notebook: Troy Polamalu back on the practice field
By Chris Adamski | CBSSports.com
November 23, 2012
S Will Allen called it a "Thanksgiving-Christmas gift" to see All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu back practicing with the Steelers.
Don't get too excited, though. It would take a Christmas miracle for Polamalu to play Sunday in Cleveland.
Polamalu practiced in a limited capacity Friday and is considered doubtful to play against the Browns. But the fact he was even able to suit up and participate in even some drills was an encouraging sign considering he hadn't played or practiced since leaving a win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the first quarter on Oct. 7. In that game, he re-aggravated a strained right calf that has bothered him since the start of the season.
"It's always good to have your guys back, and it's exciting for him -- it's been a long struggle in order to get back," FS Ryan Clark said. "And we want him to play. We want to have him out there. We know what he brings to the team, both physically and emotionally.
"We know what kind of lift he can give if he's out there, but we don't want him out there if he's not healthy. You don't want another opportunity to re-injure himself and be on the shelf for the stretch run. So if it took practicing today and getting out next week and practicing a little bit more, then that's what it's going to take."
Polamalu, who did not speak with reporters after practice, has only played in the season opener in Denver and the brief cameo vs. the Eagles.
Even without Polamalu, the Steelers have ascended to No. 1 ranking in total defense and passing defense.
What Brown can do for the Steelers: WR Antonio Brown was encouraged and feeling good after making it through a third consecutive practice Friday. Although all three days of practice participation this week for Brown were on a limited basis, Brown is officially listed as questionable to play against Cleveland Sunday.
Redman ready: Five days after sustaining a concussion in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, RB Isaac Redman declared himself "good to go" for the Browns game.
Redman, who practiced fully and without incident all week, said he has passed all of his concussion tests and will play Sunday.
The Steelers have yet to make it through a full game this season with the services of each of their top three running backs. RBs Rashard Mendenhall and Jonathan Dwyer also are healthy and ready to play vs. the Browns.
Colon added to injury list: G Willie Colon was a surprise addition to the injury report. But Colon shrugged off the knee ailment after practice, indicated it was just a "day off" and left no signs there is any change he won't play Sunday.
Other injury news: DE Ziggy Hood's status gradually improved throughout the week -- from not practicing Wednesday to being limited Thursday to fully practicing Friday. He is probable to play Sunday despite sustaining a back injury last week against the Ravens.
S Will Allen (shoulder) and LB Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) also are considered probable.
As expected, QB Ben Roethlisberger, QB Byron Leftwich, RT Marcus Gilbert and WR Jerricho Cotchery were ruled out for the Browns game.
Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @BuzzsawPGH.