Smith out against Denver

<b>PITTSBURGH -</b> If the Steelers are to rebound from two consecutive losses, they will have to Sunday at Denver without left tackle Marvel Smith.

Head coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday the pinched nerve in Smith's left shoulder isn't getting any better and that he will not play against the Broncos.

"We don't want to put him in a position where he can't defend himself out there," Cowher said. "It's more of an inflammation of the nerve right now, so hopefully by resting this week and during the bye, he'll be OK for the rest of the season."

Cowher said that Oliver Ross will get the first shot again at left tackle, but did not rule out playing Mathias Nkwenti there with Ross either moving to right tackle in place of Todd Fordham or to the bench.

"We're going to play the best two guys out of the three that we have," Cowher said of his offensive tackles.

Cowher said he has planned no further lineup changes as of Tuesday, but left the door open for changes later in the week. Tight end Jay Riemersma is questionable to play this week with the shoulder injury that kept him out of last Sunday's loss to Cleveland, but could be upgraded later in the week.

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