Justin K. Aller
Whether Ryan Clark, LaMarr Woodley and Jonathan Dwyer will be able to play Sunday will be determined later this week.
It wasn't much of a surprise when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ruled right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) out for Pittsburgh's Week 9 game at the Giants early in the week.
Despite their absences, the team is coming together.
Gilbert's replacement, Mike Adams, has played well in his two starts, showing great athleticism and decent pass protection. The unit as a whole has seen a dramatic uptick in run-blocking success, and given the playmaking ability of the Giants' secondary, it's likely the Steelers' offense will employ a run-first mentality for this game.
Who that running back will be may still be up in the air.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer tweaked a quadriceps at the end of Pittsburgh's 27-12 win over Washington, and his status - along with the statuses of Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, both of whom missed the Steelers Week 8 game - will be evaluated as the week progresses.
The Giants will likely look to put the ball in the air. The league's third-ranked scoring offense (29.3 points per game) does its damage deep down the field. Safety Ryan Clark left Pittsburgh's Week 8 game early in the second half with a concussion, and Tomlin said his status will be evaluated as the week progresses.
So will the condition of outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, whose right hamstring tightened up on him toward the end of the game against Washington.
Having both of those players limited this week could be a problem considering the Giants' offensive capabilities. Jason Worilds would likely start in place of Woodley, and Ryan Mundy and Will Allen would start in the Steelers' deep secondary for Clark and Polamalu.