Wednesday night's practice report

News went from bad to worse for the Steelers Wednesday.

Two days after starting running back Duce Staley was lost for at least four weeks after having arthoscopic knee surgery, outside linebacker Joey Porter had a similar proceedure and will also be out at least four weeks.

Porter, who injured his knee Tuesday during pass rushing drills, had surgery to remove some loose cartilage in his knee Wednesday after an MRI in the morning revealed the tear.

James Harrison took Porter's place in the starting lineup, joining Ike Taylor, who was standing in for Deshea Townsend, who remains out with a sore Achilles tendon.

Jerome Bettis, Travis Kirschke, Lee Mays and Walter Young also sat out practice again.

After missing the morning session, center Jeff Hartings and wide receiver Antwaan Randle El came back in the night. But Randle El injured his ankle during practice and did not return. Head coach Bill Cowher said Randle El should be OK, however.

Rookie linebacker Andre Frazier got an earful from the coaching staff after tackling running backs during non-contact drills. But with Porter out, Frazier will get a good look at linebacker. Cowher said the team will not pursue any veteran linebackers with Porter out.

In the goal-line drill, James Farrior blew up Verron Haynes for a two-yard loss on first down, but Haynes plowed to the two on second down before being taken down by Troy Polamalu. Haynes then scored on third down behind Kendall Simmons as Farrior shot through the wrong hole.

The defense came up and stopped the second-team offense, with Clint Kriewaldt making a couple of big hits on Noah Herron. Ike Taylor also had a nice stop, with Rian Wallace knocking Herron down short of the goal on fourth down.


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