Some good news on the injury front for the six-time Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. During Sunday's 15-9 overtime win agianst the Atlanta Falcons, nose tackle Casey Hampton and left tackle Max Starks were both forced to the sidelines in-game with injuries. Hampton injured his hamstring and changed into street clothes for the second half, while Starks had to be helped off the field with what appeared to be a high-ankle sprain. Thankfully, Starks suffered a low-ankle sprain rather than the more painful and nagging high variety according to Mike Tomlin during his press conference today.
Tomlin even said that Starks might return to practice as early as late this week. Tomlin also said that Hampton's hamstring injury wasn't serious, and that he too would be back on the practice field later this week. I believe that more than I do Tomlin's optimism about Starks. Regardless of how high or low the sprain occurred, Starks has to be in a lot of pain this week. I can't imagine him playing under any circumstance this week, whereas it's quite possible we'll see 'Big Snack' play against the Titans on Sunday.
One other noteworthy item from Tomlin's presser: Byron Leftwich is apparently off to a nice start with his rehabilitation. Leftwich of course injured the MCL in his right knee during the team's final preseason game. He was expected to be shelved for at least a month, if not more. But from the sound of it, Leftwich might also be back at practice this week. Tomlin mentioned that Dixon was 'the guy' for this coming weekend's game, but if he were to struggle and Leftwich were to continue healing quickly, who knows what might happen next week around this time. We could be talking about the same type of QB controversy that we were throughout the late spring and summer months. Hopefully though Dixon just steps up and performs admirably on the road in Nashville come Sunday.
Stay tuned for more news and notes on the injury front here and on Behind the Steel Curtain as they become available.