Steelers Notebook: Top pick, guard on IR, to miss rest of season


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It was a tough night at Heinz Field for the Steelers in many ways against the Baltimore Ravens.

Four players left the game with injuries, and two of them are done for the season.

Rookie halfback Rashard Mendenhall and right guard Kendall Simmons will be placed on injured reserve today. Mendenhall made his first start and he left in the third quarter with a fractured shoulder. Simmons has a torn Achilles tendon.

Backup linebacker Andre Frazier was carried off the field on a stretcher when he was injured on the opening kickoff, but he was judged to be OK and was in the locker room after the game after the Steelers announced he had a spine injury.

Running back Carey Davis left the game early in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle.

Darnell Stapleton replaced Simmons, playing with the first-team offense for the first time in his two years.

The injuries to the running backs left the Steelers with one healthy back, Mewelde Moore. They went into the game with three. Gary Russell was on the roster until he was released the day before they played Philadelphia and re-signed to the practice squad.

They likely will add Russell to their 53-man roster this week and may have to sign another running back because starter Willie Parker is expected to miss the game Sunday in Jacksonville, Fla., with a sprained knee.

Toss deferred

The Steelers won the coin toss and coach Mike Tomlin chose to defer his choice to the second half. Baltimore chose to receive. Tomlin said earlier he probably would take the ball unless there were weather issues. But last night he likely preferred to have his defense on the field first.

Alumni outing

A large group of former Steelers from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, attended the game last night wearing throwback jerseys with their old numbers on them. They all walked to the middle of the field for the coin toss.

Among those in attendance were Bryan Hinkle, Weegie Thompson, Gary Dunn, Dirt Winston, Craig Bingham, Carnell Lake, Delton Hall, Mike Merriweather, Tunch Ilkin, Craig Wolfley, Louis Lipps, Myron Bell, Dwayne Woodruff, Jason Gildon, Kevin Greene, Calvin Sweeney, Robin Cole, Yancey Thigpen, Mike Logan and Hall of Fame running back Bill Dudley, who played in the 1940s.

Quick hits

Santonio Holmes returned punts last night and Moore replaced Mendenhall as the deep man on kickoff returns. ... Baltimore coach John Harbaugh successfully challenged a call late in the first half to give Derrick Mason a 13-yard catch to the Steelers' 31 after officials ruled he did not have possession. ... Davis replaced Moore as the third-down back for the Steelers before he was injured.

Inactives

Steelers -- WR Limas Sweed, RB Willie Parker, OT Tony Hills, OT Trai Essex, LB Donovan Woods, DT Casey Hampton, DE Brett Keisel, QB Dennis Dixon.

Baltimore Ravens -- CB Samari Rolle, CB Evan Oglesby, S Dawan Landry, LB Nick Greisen, OT Oniel Cousins, OL David Hale, NT Kelly Gregg, QB Troy Smith.



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