Head coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday that tackle Mathias Nkwenti, who had been slated to start at right tackle this week against St. Louis, has a disc problem in his back and will be out at least six weeks.
That injury, coupled with the fact Cowher doesn't expect left
tackle Marvel Smith to be back this week - he's listed as doubtful
- leaves the Steelers very lean on their offensive line.
"We're looking at all options right now," said Cowher, adding,
"this was only brought up to me an hour ago."
The Steelers are expected to attempt to sign a veteran player on
their offensive line, likely adding a guard.
Cowher said their offensive line this week will be Alan Faneca at
left tackle, Keydrick Vincent at left guard, Jeff Hartings at center,
Kendall Simmons at right guard and Todd Fordham at right
With Hartings moving outside for what appears to be the long
term, the team is very thin in the interior.
In other news Tuesday, Cowher confirmed what had been widely
speculated, naming Jerome Bettis the team's starting running
back over Amos Zereoue.
"Jerome will start and Amos will play in the three-wide packages
and on third downs," Cowher said.
In addition to Smith, Cowher said Jay Riemersma suffered a
sprained MCL at practice Monday and is doubtful to play this
week. Jerame Tuman will start in his place.
More problems to the OL
Steel City Insider Top Stories
Camp Sleeper: RB Trey WilliamsJon Ledyard profiles a running back who could surprise the Steelers and their fans at training camp.
Steel City InsiderYesterday at 9:13 AM
Watson Brings Power To Steelers' BackfieldTerrell Watson smashed all of Christian Okoye's college records and now he's trying to break through with the Steelers. Jon Ledyard talked to the young man for today's profile.
Steel City InsiderThursday at 2:41 AM
Money Matters: For Whom the Bell TollsLe'Veon Bell will only have more leverage in next year's negotiation with the Steelers. Capologist Ian Whetstone has the story behind the numbers.
Steel City InsiderTuesday at 11:30 AM
No DealThe Steelers and Le'Veon Bell couldn't agree to a contract extension past the 2017 season.
Steel City InsiderMonday at 12:34 PM