Steelers Notebook: NFL slaps $10,000 fine on Woodley
Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell is sacked by linebacker LaMarr Woodley, right, during the third quarter of their Monday night football game. There was no fumble on the play, as Campbell was ruled down by contact. The Steelers won 23-6.
Share with others:
While Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice yesterday, linebacker LaMarr Woodley was unable to participate in drills. And he also became the latest player to have his wallet lightened by the NFL.
Woodley was fined $10,000 for throwing Washington Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell to the ground for a sack. No foul was called on the play, during which Campbell's head hit the turf. Woodley's teammates are seething over the punishment after the fact.
"I can't believe it," said linebacker James Farrior. "It's getting worse and worse every day. We can't do the things we have to do as football players to do our jobs. I guess throwing a guy down is considered intimidation."
Fines for rough play, even when no one was flagged when it occurred, have riled the Steelers all season. Troy Polamalu thought that the NFL was becoming a "pansy game" because of the fines, and an NFL executive paid a visit to Pittsburgh to explain to the players why the fines were being levied.
Meanwhile, Woodley did not practice yesterday and rated his chances of playing against the Indianapolis Colts tomorrow at "50-50" because his calf was injured before the game against the New York Giants two weeks ago.
He played that game as well as the one against the Redskins.
"I really can't say if it's worse or if it's better. I have two days. I guess it'll be a game-time decision," Woodley said. "You have to be smart. I don't want to miss a game, but I don't want to hurt it worse and have to miss four or five games later on. The game's not going to stop because I'm not in there."
If Woodley can't go, Lawrence Timmons is expected to fill in, although Keyaron Fox got the bulk of the repetitions in practice yesterday.
Roethlisberger's participation in drills yesterday suggested he will be ready to play tomorrow. The injury report lists him as probable, but there was no official word from the coaching staff on whether he will start.
The quarterback threw with limited effectiveness in drills and had ice applied to his right shoulder before leaving the practice field. He has played hurt all year, including taking an injection to mask the pain, after injuring the shoulder in the opener. He didn't play in the second half against the Redskins after getting the shoulder banged up on a quarterback sneak.
Other players who were unable to practice yesterday included running back Najeh Davenport (hamstring), cornerback Bryant McFadden (forearm), running back Willie Parker (shoulder) and tackle Marvel Smith (back). McFadden, Smith and tight end Heath Miller are out for the game tomorrow while Parker is listed as doubtful.
Davenport and Woodley are questionable, while Polamalu, Roethlisberger, safety Tyrone Carter, nose tackle Casey Hampton, running back Gary Russell, receiver Hines Ward and cornerback DeShea Townsend are probable.
The signing of punter Paul Ernster the week after signing of long snapper Jared Retkofsky because of an injury to Greg Warren, means the Steelers have replaced two of the three most crucial parts of their field-goal unit.
Ernster will hold for kicker Jeff Reed after punter Mitch Berger was released this week. It's not completely foreign to Ernster, who performed the duties in training camp before losing the punter's job to Berger.
"Field goals are all about timing. Any team would hate to change two guys on such short notice, but Jeff's a pro," Ernster said. "It probably feels like he's been thrown a curveball, but I think we have our timing down. We got better every day this week. Jeff feels more comfortable now. In the end, you have to put the ball through the uprights."
Mike Tomlin was selected as Motorola coach of the week from among three finalists by voters on NFL.com. The other nominees were the Giants' Tom Coughlin and the Cincinnati Bengals' Marvin Lewis.
First Published November 8, 2008 12:00 am