More problems to the OL

<b>PITTSBURGH - </b> Things just continue to get worse and worse for the Steelers on their beleaguered offensive line.

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.

The reason?

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 tackle.

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.

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