Simmons, the team's starting right guard, lay on the field for about 5 minutes while being checked out by doctors before finally getting to his feet. Simmons limped around for the remainder of practice, but seemed OK by the time things ended.
"It was just a mild knee sprain," said head coach Bill Cowher.
"He may be out here working tomorrow, so we'll see."
Simmons joined a bevy of players who took the afternoon off as
Cowher had his own version of "Veteran's Day" Wednesday.
Sitting out the afternoon practice were Hines Ward, Kimo von
Oelhoffen, Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley, Mike Logan, Joey Porter,
Jeff Hartings and Jay Riemersma. None were because of
injuries, however, as Cowher just gave them the day off because
they had been working hard.
Only Terry Fair, Kendrick Clancy and Shane Walton missed
practice because of injuries, though Kendrell Bell sat out the
Cowher said Clark Haggans will definitely not play Saturday
against Houston, though Haggans has lobbied though the
media to do so.
In the drills, Alonzo Jackson again failed to impress as a pass
rusher. In fact, Jackson appeared to quit the drill after easily
being pushed to the outside by Max Starks. Jackson hit his initial burst and quickly turned and ran to the other side of the field,
where the passing drills were taking place. Nice effort.
Keydrick Vincent had a tough day in the drill, getting beaten
soundly by Eric Taylor and later by Aaron Smith. Oliver Ross was
solid, while Starks looked decent, despite being run out there
more than any other lineman as Russ Grimm appeared to be
testing him against a number of players.
Troy Polamalu had a interception over the middle off of Kurt Kittner, but Cowher was quick to point out - quite angrily - that the
play would have been nullified by Dedrick Roper being offsides.
The team finished the session with a one-minute drill led by Ben Roethlisberger.
But with so many guys sitting out, it was like the first-and-a-half
offense vs. its defensive counterpart.
Roethlisberger completed consecutive dump-offs to Verron Haynes for 15 yards, but was then sacked by Brett Keisel, who
whipped Vincent handily.
But Roethlisberger then completed a 20-yard out to a diving
Plaxico Burress - who made a great catch - before throwing
incomplete to Lee Mays.
On his final play, Roethlisberger completed a 15-yard pass to
Chris Doering to get the team into field goal range. Since that
was all Cowher was looking for, he ended practice there, despite
the fact 20 seconds remained on the clock.
Wednesday afternoon's practice report
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