After losing their fifth out of six games this past Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals in a game that eliminated them from playoff contention, the news for the Pittsburgh Steelers only got worse as the week wore on.
Adding injury to insult, the Steelers announced today that they have placed three players on injured reserve: tight end Heath Miller, cornerback Ike Taylor, and running back Baron Batch.
Miller, a long-time starter, was having a Pro Bowl caliber season with 71 receptions for 816 yards and a career high 8 touchdowns.
Late in the game last week, he suffered a very serious right knee injury, tearing his ACL and MCL, and possibly also sustaining partial damage to the PCL. Though he will miss just one game for the 2012 season, he has a long road to recovery ahead of him heading into the off-season. A knee injury of this severity could jeopardize his ability to play at the beginning of next season as well.
Ike Taylor, who also has spent nearly all of his career as a starter, suffered a lower leg injury in the team’s last victory four games ago against the Baltimore Ravens. It was not believed to be season-ending; however, with the Steelers eliminate from the playoffs, there is no reason to attempt to rush him back for a meaningless season finale game against the Cleveland Browns.
Meanwhile Baron Batch, a second year player with a long injury history, suffered a broken arm in the Bengals game as well. He tore his ACL in his rookie season in training camp and never played, so this is his second time in two seasons ending the year on injured reserve.
To fill these roster spots, the Steelers have announced the signing of the following three players who have spent time on their practice squad: tight end Jamie McCoy, safety Damon Cromartie-Smith, and linebacker Marshall McFadden.
It is not entirely clear if these players will receive any playing time, and if they do, it will likely be on special teams. Rookie David Paulson will likely start in place of Miller at tight end, while Cortez Allen will start in place of Ike Taylor. Keenan Lewis, the other starting cornerback, is also ailing and it is not clear if the team will allow him to play. If he does not, Curtis Brown is likely to start instead.
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