The Pittsburgh Steelers look to get several injured players back this week for their Sunday home game against the New Orleans Saints and head coach Mike Tomlin updated the status of the team from a health standpoint during his Tuesday press conference.
Tomlin said that safety Troy Polamalu (knee) practiced Monday as he looks to return from a knee sprain that has had him sidelined the last few games.
“We’re going to let his practice participation and result of that participation kind of be our guide in regards to his availability but were not anticipating any major issues in terms of his availability,” said Tomlin of Polamalu.
Tomlin said that cornerback Ike Taylor (forearm) is continuing to practice and he anticipates having him play Sunday in some form or fashion.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle) also practiced Monday, according to Tomlin. They will continue to watch Shazier throughout the week and they’ll let his participation be a guide for him.
Tomlin also will watch Shazier’s level of execution throughout the week being as he is a rookie that has missed quite a bit of time this season.
“He’s got to prove to us that he can execute in great detail,” said Tomlin.
Tomlin said that nose tackle Steve McLendon (shoulder) will start the week off as questionable for the game Sunday. The padded practice this week, if there is one, will go a long way in determining his status, according to Tomlin.
Tomlin said that cornerback Cortez Allen (thumb) broke his thumb in practice prior to the Monday night game against the Tennessee Titans. Allen had his thumb fixed surgically after the Titans game and that required pins to be inserted. He has since been fitted with a cast and they will now watch his effectiveness this week in practice and whether or not he can use his hands well.
Tomlin also said he expects safeties Shamarko Thomas (hamstring) and Ross Ventrone (hamstring) to be good to go this weekend as they appear to have overcome their soft tissue injuries.
As far as linebacker Jarvis Jones (wrist) goes, Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that he has returned to practice and that the clock has been started on him.
“He’ll have three weeks before we got to make a decision on whether or not to activate him,” said Tomlin of Jones. “It could come soon, it could come at the end of the three weeks. Really, more than anything, it’s about him getting acclimated to the cast that he’s playing in and us getting a level of comfort with his overall execution with it and his level of comfort with it. We’ll watch him closely as we proceed through the week.”