Linebacker Lawrence Timmons has a high ankle sprain that has left his status for the Steelers' season opener Sept. 10 against Tennessee in doubt.
Timmons today walked around the team's training facility in a protective boot on his injured left foot. Coach Mike Tomlin has ruled him out of Thursday night's game and said his focus is to try to get him healthy for the opener.
High ankle sprains often have kept players sidelined for two-three weeks.
Timmons, Tomlin's first draft choice after he became head coach in 2007, has replaced Larry Foote as the starting mack inside linebacker. Last season, he served as the nickel linebacker on defense and also started two games at outside linebacker because of injuries.
Sept. 10 would be his first start in a real game at inside linebacker. Keyaron Fox will replace him Thursday night in Carolina and would start if Timmons is unable to play in the opener.