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Thursday, November 13, 2014

McCullers will start

The Steelers plan on starting rookie Daniel McCullers at nose tackle if Steve McLendon doesn't play - which is likely.

Defensive line coach John Mitchell confirmed to Steelers Nation Radio that McCullers would get the nod Monday night at Tennessee, though Cam Thomas will see some time there as well.

McCullers has been active for just three games this season, but saw action in 11 snaps last week when he was active due to injuries at a number of other positions.

Things are going to get interesting for the Steelers coming out of the bye week if McCullers plays well.

McLendon should be back and has played pretty well this season.

But the Steelers are also set to get linebacker Jarvis Jones and cornerback Ike Taylor back from lengthy injuries as well.

Could Thomas wind up being inactive, or worse, released?

I don't think he'll be released and he's still - at least technically - starting ahead of Brett Keisel. But Keisel is logging more plays and rookie Stephon Tuitt also is seeing action in a handful of plays each week.

Thomas has played better in recent weeks. Then again, he couldn't have played much worse than he had in the preseason and first month or so of the season.

Some of that is because he's not a true defensive end. He's been better when asked to play the nose.

But that definitely looks like a bad free agent signing.

@ McLendon, who is dealing with a nagging shoulder injury, did not practice on Thursday.

Ross Ventrone, who missed last week's game with a hamstring injury, was back on the field Thursday. Taylor and Shamarko Thomas, who is also dealing with a hamstring issue, were limited.

Brett Keisel and Arthur Moats were given the day off, while Troy Polamalu an Ryan Shazier, who have already been declared out, did not practice.

Taylor has also been declared out.

For Tennessee, tight end Delanie Walker, who left last week's loss at Baltimore with a concussion, did not practice.

If he doesn't make it back, that's a huge loss for Tennessee. Walker is the Titans' top red zone threat and second-leading receiver.


Anonymous said...

Great to hear that about McCullers. He's really proven myself and a whole lot more people who didn't even think he would make the roster that we were wrong about him.

Anonymous said...

Losing Mauro will precipitate Thomas' release. Dont lose any more young talent! Thomas WILL be available in case of an emergency anaway

kelly said...

They lost Mauro? I thought Hemer was the one released?

kelly said...

Never mind... Just checked the roster and Hemer is still on the PS. I must be losing it.

kelly said...

That sucks... I really liked Mauro; reminded me of Aaron Smith.

Patrick said...

How did he remind you of smith?

Anonymous said...

He was white... That's all I've got