Notebook: Carter fined for hit on Olsen

PITTSBURGH – Steelers safety Tyrone Carter was fined $5,000 by the NFL for his sideline hit on Chicago Bears tight end Greg Olsen Sunday.

No penalty was called on the play, and Carter will appeal based on his belief the league got it wrong.

"I watched it over and over and they said I led with my head, but I didn't do that," Carter said. "I hit him with my shoulder."

Carter, the replacement at strong safety for Troy Polamalu, said it was his third such fine in 10 years in the league. He also made a logistical argument for this one.

"He was a big receiver, like 6-6 or something," Carter said of a player listed at 6-5. "I'm 5-9. How am I going to hit a guy 6-6 in the head? That's crazy. But, that's what they said and that's what they fined me fore. I can't let that stop me from how I play the game."

Carter objected to the assertion that he responsible for allowing both Bears touchdowns last week.

"I didn't give up two touchdowns," he said. "I gave up one touchdown. The first touchdown, we were in cover-4. I just saw a guy open and rushed up in there. They can say what they want to say. I know what happened. When you see the guy in the (TV) picture, you're going to think he gave up the touchdown. Well, that's football. It's how you bounce back from them. I don't care what people say. I know what happened."

Carter also said that the 29-yard pass down the middle to Olsen was not his responsibility. "A guy left his man," Carter said. "They dragged him up and he went up the field. The linebacker thought he was going across and he took off up the field. I happened to see it and I reacted to it."

Carter didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday because of a bruised thigh, but intends to practice Friday and play Sunday in Cincinnati.


With Polamalu and Carter missing practice, the Steelers gave cornerbacks Deshea Townsend, Keiwan Ratliff and William Gay reps at strong safety. And when Ryan Clark hurt his hand and left for a series, the only safety left on the team was Ryan Mundy. At times, two cornerbacks worked together at safety.

What would be the downside if two corners had to play deep in Sunday's game?

"We wouldn't have any problem," said coordinator Dick LeBeau. "That's the reason we've been practicing that since the coaching sessions."

Obviously, the corners would be a plus in coverage. Are they big enough to stop the run?

"I think our corners can make the plays a safety has to make," LeBeau said. "They're not as big as safeties. You might worry a little bit about the durability factor over the course of 15, 16 games, but hopefully in that situation it would be temporary."


His teammates maintain he was pushed into quarterback Jay Cutler, but James Harrison wasn't so sure what the league would think of the play on which he was penalized for a late hit. Thursday he learned that he wouldn't be fined.

"I was pulled down into his knees," Harrison said. "But they didn't fine me for that. That was nice of them."

Harrison rushed 18 times and was held by a variety of Bears -- most noticeably Orlando Pace -- 10 times, but the holds were flagged only once. Harrison said the game was the worst in what became a trend last season.

"Oh, yeah. Definitely. Definitely," he said. "The best game that I had, where they actually called it, was the Super Bowl. And I think that was because it was on such a big stage that they called it."


Aaron Smith fought off the MRSA staph infection he had acquired at the end of the preseason, and said all is well.

"It started as a little pimple down here on my shin," the Steelers' defensive end said. "Antibiotics cleared it up in a couple of weeks."

Smith was worried because his 4-year-old son Elijah has a weakened immune system.

"I had to keep him covered and sleep in long shirts and pants," Smith said. "That wasn't real fun, but we're through it."

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