EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Steelers have been hit hard by injuries this season and they didn't have to wait for the opening kickoff Sunday to get a potentially serious one to their newest offensive lineman.
Levi Brown, acquired two weeks ago in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, injured his right triceps in pregame warm-ups. Brown, who was going to back up both tackles, was hurt in a pass-protection drill shortly before kickoff.
Shortly after kickoff in the first quarter, reserve tight end David Johnson injured his left wrist. He left the game and did not return.
Coach Mike Tomlin characterized both as "potentially major" injuries. Starting defensive end Brett Keisel missed the second half with a rib injury, but he said after the game that he will play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.
Tomlin decided to dress only seven offensive linemen for the game and because Brown already had been announced as one of the team's 45 active players, the Steelers had to play the game with only one reserve lineman -- Guy Whimper.
Mike Adams, the starting left tackle for the first four games, and reserve guard/center Cody Wallace did not dress.
The Steelers got through the game without any injuries to their offensive linemen, but it was a rough first game for new left tackle Kelvin Beachum, who was penalized four times and almost got quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sacked in the end zone for a safety.
Beachum was twice penalized for holding and once each for illegal procedure and a false start.
"It started off shaky, not the way I wanted to, but I bounced back and made some good things happen," said Beachum, who made his first career start at left tackle after five starts at right tackle in 2012. "I'm not happy with the penalties. I have to fix some things. I'll move on and attempt to get better."
Beachum wasn't the only one having troubles. Roethlisberger was sacked four times and was hurried on eight other occasions.
Big day for Heyward
Cameron Heyward made his first NFL start, at left defensive end, not far from Passaic, N.J., where his father, Craig "Ironhead" Heyward hailed.
The elder Heyward was a star halfback at Pitt and played 11 seasons for five NFL teams after the New Orleans Saints drafted him in the first round in 1988. Cameron, too, was a first-round pick, in 2011.
"My brother still lives here, and my godfather is from here," Heyward said. "I don't want to put too much into it, but it's like another home for me and it was nice to play in front of a New Jersey crowd."
Statisticians credited Heyward with one quarterback pressure and two tackles in his first start, in place of demoted Ziggy Hood.
Praise for Timmons
Linebacker Lawrence Timmons had an interception and was second on the team with six tackles, but to hear his teammates after the game it wasn't necessarily the number of tackles but the authority by which they were delivered that stood out most.
"I've been telling Lawrence Timmons every time I see you hit, something bad happens for them and good for us," cornerback Ike Taylor said. "He's slowly getting back into it."
Fewer by air
The Steelers earned their first victory in a game in which Roethlisberger threw the fewest passes this season. In four losses, Roethlisberger had thrown 33, 37, 41 and 51 times. He threw 30 times Sunday, completing 23.
Smith takes step back
Jets quarterback Geno Smith threw two interceptions, returning to his turnover proclivities after a brilliant performance Monday night against Atlanta.
"Well, you can tell those guys had some time to prepare," Smith said of a Steelers team that hadn't played since Sept. 29. "They covered our verticals pretty well, carried the seams, and I think that's a testament to having guys like Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark, who've played in this league and who have seen those plays time and time again. They kept things in front of them. They didn't allow us to hit the big play, something we've been accustomed to doing so far this year. I think we should have done a better job of converting on third downs [3 of 11]. Overall, we didn't get it done."
• The Steelers recorded their 600th victory, becoming the first team from the AFC to accomplish the feat and the fourth team overall (Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants).
• The Steelers improved to 17-4 against the Jets in the regular season and 10-3 on the road vs. the Jets.
• The Steelers improved to 16-2 against rookie quarterbacks (Sunday vs. the Jets' Smith) under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.
• Roethlisberger registered a quarterback rating over 100 for the 51st time in his career. He is 47-4 when he is over 100. His rating against the Jets was 113.8.
• With 30 receptions over the past three games, Antonio Brown tied Hines Ward for the most receptions in a three-game span in franchise history. Brown had 11 receptions for 86 yards against the Jets.
• Place-kicker Shaun Suisham stayed perfect on the season with field goals of 32, 33, 46 and 48 yards. He is 10 for 10 this season and has made 17 consecutive field goals between 40 and 49 yards.
• In his second pro start, running back Le'Veon Bell's longest run was 7 yards. Roethlisberger's was 10.
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1. Gene Collier and Ed Bouchette contributed to this report. First Published October 13, 2013 8:00 PM