Steelers Chris Hoke to Have Season Ending Neck Surgery

ARLINGTON TX - FEBRUARY 06: Chris Hoke #76 of the Pittsburgh Steelers takes the field prior to their game against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6 2011 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette is reporting that Chris Hoke will undergo neck surgery that will end his season with the Steelers. The injury is a hit to the Steelers depth on the defensive line, but it is not devastating. Over the last few games Steve McLendon had earned a hat over Hoke on game days because of his solid play. McLendon had become the first string back up to Casey Hampton with Hoke acting as the 3rd string.

From everything I have read about Hoke over the years is that he is a great guy. All of his teammates love him and he was a guy the coaches could lean on for veteran support. That is why the Steelers resigned Hoke to a 1 year deal when they felt McLendon was still too inexperienced to be the clear cut back up at NT. Unfortunately for Hoke, this injury may be similar to Aaron Smith's, in that it could mark an unfortunate end to a solid Steelers career.

The interesting question now becomes who will the Steelers add to the 53 man roster? My guess is that it will most likely be DE Corbin Bryant from the practice squad.

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