Week 9 was quite the roller-coaster for the Pittsburgh Steelers. All that ultimately matters is that the black and gold got the win and improved to 6-2. But as so often been the case in recent years, the Steelers allowed their opponent to get back into the game in the fourth quarter and make things interesting in the final minute.
Style points may not count, but some victories still come with a much higher price tag than others. Pittsburgh's 27-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals certainly did, as the Steelers lost multiple starters and several key reserves to injuries.
The most noteworthy of the injuries was to starting left tackle Max Starks, who reportedly misplaced a disc in his neck during the second quarter on Sunday night. Ed Bouchette is reporting that sources tell the Post Gazzette that the injury is serious and potentially season-ending for Starks.
Three Steelers also left Sunday's game with concussions. Reserve defensive back Will Allen, and running backs Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman will all be evaluated closely throughout the week, and must pass post-concussion tests before being cleared to play next Sunday against the Patriots.
Finally, offensive linemen Chris Kemoeatu and Maurkice Pouncey went down in the first half with injuries. For Kemoeatu, it was an ankle sprain that he was unable to return from. Pouncey meanwhile left with a leg injury. At that point, there were legitimate concerns about what might happen in the second half, as the Steelers had only dressed seven offensive lineman. Pouncey however returned in the second half to help lead the Steelers to victory. Gutty effort by him. Tomlin said he's hopeful Kemoeatu will be able to play next Sunday, even if he's forced to miss part if not all of practice this week. Pouncey 'will be fine' according to his coach, and is not expected to miss any work this week.
Stay tuned for more updates both here and at Behind the Steel Curtain as information becomes available. Max Starks' prognosis is an important one for the Steelers. Here's to hoping things aren't as bad as they initially seem.