Steelers' Colon could be out entire season


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The Steelers know they will begin the regular season without their two biggest offensive stars -- quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and since-traded wide receiver Santonio Holmes.

Now they might be without their best offensive lineman, perhaps for the season.

Right tackle Willie Colon injured his Achilles tendon during an agility workout Monday and will be examined this morning to determine the severity of the injury.

Team president Art Rooney II and director of football operations Kevin Colbert confirmed the injury to Colon's Achilles tendon, which could be season-ending.

"We'll know more [today]," Colbert said.

NFL.com reported on its website that Colon has a torn Achilles and is expected to miss the entire 2010 season.

Colon's agent, Joe Linta, told ESPN.com, "That's kind of our worst fears."

Colon, who has not missed a game in three years as the starting right tackle, will be examined by team doctors today to determine the extent of the injury. He was working out at the team's South Side facility when he was injured and left the building on crutches.

The loss of Colon would be another blow to an offense that has already lost Holmes, their former Super Bowl MVP who was traded to the New York Jets after several off-field problems; and will be without Roethlisberger for at least the first four games of the season because of a league suspension.

The Steelers have several options to replace Colon.

They could move former tackle Trai Essex, their starting right guard, to right tackle and use any one of three players, including No. 1 pick Maurkice Pouncey at right guard. The other candidates are Ramon Foster, a rookie free agent in 2009 who saw some playing time last season; and Kraig Urbik, last year's No. 3 draft choice who was inactive for all 16 games. Urbik played right tackle his first two seasons at Wisconsin.

But, more than likely, the Steelers will replace Colon with free-agent pickup Jonathan Scott, who was signed to a one-year contract in the offseason after starting eight games for the Buffalo Bills last season.


Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com .


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