2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Minus Pouncey and Foote, Steelers press on

By WILL GRAVES - AP Sports Writer
    2013-09-09 16:09

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Maurkice Pouncey limped through the Pittsburgh Steelers practice facility on Monday, the torn ligaments in his knee wrapped in bandages and his season over. The three-time Pro Bowl center remained in high spirits - as always - though he might have been one of the few in the building.

The long road back for Pouncey will begin later this week when he undergoes surgery. The same for linebacker Larry Foote, who is also done for the year after rupturing his right biceps while trying to tackle Tennessee's Chris Johnson in the fourth quarter of a 16-9 loss.

For a team that preaches ``next man up'' when faced with adversity, at the moment ``next man left'' might be more appropriate.

While the Steelers will have somebody snap the ball to Ben Roethlisberger next Monday when they play at Cincinnati, whoever it is will be a significant downgrade over a player considered one of the NFL's elite.

Kelvin Beachum filled in after Pouncey was carted off the field eight plays into the season, the first time in Beachum's football career he's worked at center during an actual game. Though Beachum is arguably the most versatile player left on the line - he saw time at both tackle and guard during the preseason - the Steelers signed veteran Fernando Velasco to a one-year on Monday according to agent Brian Ayrault.

The 28-year-old Velasco started 16 games for Tennessee last season, including 13 at center. He'll be given every opportunity to take over for Pouncey on a line that will try to regroup without its emotional leader.

``It's going to be tough,'' running back Isaac Redman said. ``Pouncey is the heart of our offensive line. We've got to have guys step up.''

Even if Redman isn't one of them. Handed the starting job out of camp after rookie Le'Veon Bell sprained his right foot, Redman fumbled twice - including once into the end zone - and managed just nine yards on eight carries.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin grew so frustrated he sent third-down back LaRod Stephens-Howling into the game, only to have the return specialist tear the ACL in his knee. Like Pouncey, Stephens-Howling is done for the year.

Searching for healthy bodies, the Steelers re-signed Jonathan Dwyer on Monday. Dwyer led Pittsburgh with 623 yards rushing in 2012 before being cut when the roster was trimmed to 53 players. He wasn't picked up after being waived and there appeared to be no hard feelings as he walked into the team's complex.

``Glad to be back home,'' Dwyer tweeted.

Dwyer's face is familiar. Not so much for the man charged with replacing Foote.

Kion Wilson was out of the NFL last year before making the Steelers following a spectacular preseason on special teams. Now he finds himself replacing a 12-veteran who received all the defensive calls from coordinator Dick LeBeau and served as the chatty quarterback of the league's top-ranked defense.

Wilson played sparingly in 2010 with San Diego and in 2011 but will have to get a quick grasp of LeBeau's intricate schemes while Lawrence Timmons takes over Foote's duties as playcaller.

Though Foote will be missed, the Steelers still have a defensive roster filled with players have learned how to cope when things go wrong.

``Larry's a tough guy to replace, but Kion has gone through our camp,'' Timmons said. ``He's picked up our defense, and (linebackers coach Keith) Butler's going to do a good job prepping him for this game. Coach LeBeau's doing this for a while, so he'll have a defense for whoever fills in. He'll be able to run the defense.

The bigger concerns lie on offense after the Steelers managed just 195 total yards, allowed five sacks and turned it over twice.

What Pittsburgh viewed as a strength over the summer now appears to be a question mark with Pouncey out until 2014. Beachum spent a portion of the preseason serving as a third tight end then spent four quarters cradling the ball in his hands and looking across the line of scrimmage at defensive tackles.

``You've got to be a football player at the end of the day,'' Beachum said. ``You're paid to be here, you've got to make it work.''

--

NOTES: The Steelers signed K Shayne Graham on Monday as insurance after K Shaun Suisham sustained a mild hamstring strain during warmups on Sunday. Graham converted 31 of 38 field goals last year for Houston. ... The AFC North is a combined 0-4 after Week 1.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Kirk CousinsSep 23 09:52p

Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden did not rule out QB Kirk Cousins permanently replacing QB Robert Griffin III at quarterback. 'Crazy things have happened in NFL,' Gruden said. [ More ]

Bishop SankeySep 23 09:23p

Tennessee Titans RB Bishop Sankey was on the field for a season-high 27 snaps in Week 3, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt said Sankey's play will dictate his future [ More ]

Brandon BostickSep 23 09:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick took a full workload on special teams in Week 2 and Week 3, and offensive coordinator Tom Clements said he should become a [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiSep 23 08:33p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) played a season-high 42 snaps in Week 3, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said a further increase in playing time is coming. [ More ]

Chris JohnsonSep 23 07:53p

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory has forced .42 missed tackles per touch this year, while RB Chris Johnson has forced only .12 missed tackles per touch.

Mike TolbertSep 23 07:23p

Carolina Panthers FB Mike Tolbert (knee) has been placed on the Reserve Injured/Designated for Return list Tuesday, Sept. 23, with a hairline fracture in his knee. Tolbert will not [ More ]

Riley CooperSep 23 07:13p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Riley Cooper leads all wide receivers in routes run, according to Cecil Lammey of ESPN Denver, but has totaled just nine catches for 71 yards.

Jake LockerSep 23 06:53p

Tennessee Titans QB Jake Locker (wrist) has a wrist strain, according to an MRI. The quarterback's status for Week 4 is still uncertain.

Mark AsperSep 23 06:43p

New York Giants OG Mark Asper was released Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Marcus ThigpenSep 23 06:33p

The Miami Dolphins re-signed DT Bruce Gaston and signed free-agent RB Marcus Thigpen (Patriots) to their practice squad Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Tommy StreeterSep 23 06:33p

Miami Dolphins WR Tommy Streeter was released Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Ryan TannehillSep 23 06:33p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill is scheduled to start this weekend in London against the Oakland Raiders, despite head coach Joe Philbin repeatedly not committing to Tannehill as the starter.

Dennis PittaSep 23 06:23p

The Baltimore Ravens placed TE Dennis Pitta (hip) on Reserve/Injured Tuesday, Sept. 23, officially ending the tight end's season.

Shaun DraughnSep 23 06:13p

The San Diego Chargers signed free-agent RB Shaun Draughn (Bears) to an undisclosed one-year deal Tuesday, Sept. 23, according to Draughn's agent.

Lavar EdwardsSep 23 06:13p

The Dallas Cowboys re-signed DE Lavar Edwards to an undisclosed deal Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Josh BellamySep 23 06:13p

Chicago Bears WR Josh Bellamy, Dallas Cowboys LB Keith Smith, Detroit Lions PK Nate Freese and Tampa Bay Buccaneers CB Rashaan Melvin cleared waivers and became free agents Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Ellis LanksterSep 23 06:13p

New York Jets CB Ellis Lankster was released Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Chris OwusuSep 23 06:03p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Chris Owusu was placed on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Lawrence GuySep 23 06:03p

San Diego Chargers CB Marcus Cromartie (groin) and DE Lawrence Guy were placed on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Chris ProsinskiSep 23 06:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Marcel Jensen, FS Chris Prosinski (elbow) and WR Kerry Taylor were placed on no-recall waivers Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Ryan TannehillSep 23 05:23p

Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill may still be on thin ice as head coach Joe Philbin was again noncommittal regarding the quarterback starting Week 4. 'At the end of [ More ]

Vincent JacksonSep 23 05:13p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson (wrist) wasn't limited in practice Monday, Sept. 22, after sustaining a slight wrist fracture in Week 3. He had his wrist wrapped Monday.

T.J. GrahamSep 23 05:13p

The Tennessee Titans signed TE Chase Coffman and waived WR T.J. Graham Tuesday, Sept. 23.

Chris IvorySep 23 05:03p

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory may get more playing time, according to head coach Rex Ryan. Ivory and Chris Johnson both had 10 carries against the Chicago Bears [ More ]

Geno SmithSep 23 05:03p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith remains the team's starting quarterback, according to head coach Rex Ryan. 'Everybody is behind Geno. He's our quarterback and our football team believes in him,' Ryan said.

Eric DeckerSep 23 05:03p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker's (hamstring) status for this weekend remains unknown. Head coach Rex Ryan is hopeful that the wide receiver will be able to play.

Vernon DavisSep 23 04:43p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) said his ankle is doing much better and he is reportedly looking better with no sign of a limp.

Brian OrakpoSep 23 04:43p

Washington Redskins LB Brian Orakpo (finger) is expecting to play in Week 4 against the New York Giants Thursday, Sept. 25, with a hard cast on his left hand. [ More ]

Danny TrevathanSep 23 04:33p

Denver Broncos LB Danny Trevathan (knee) is expected to be back at practice with the team next week, according to head coach John Fox. Trevathan said he'd be at [ More ]

Mike PounceySep 23 03:53p

Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) is making progress with his hip injury, according to head coach Joe Philbin. The coaches are monitoring him every day to see if he is ready to play.

Kedric GolstonSep 23 03:23p

Washington Redskins DE Chris Baker (ankle, hip) fully participated in practice Tuesday, Sept. 23. DE Kedric Golston (groin), DE Jason Hatcher (hamstring), LB Akeem Jordan (knee), DE Frank Kearse [ More ]

Steve WeatherfordSep 23 03:03p

New York Giants CB Zackary Bowman (quadriceps), LB Jon Beason (foot, toe), OT James Brewer (back), OT Charles Brown (shoulder) and P Steve Weatherford (ankle) all were limited in [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group