As the snow playfully buries areas of the nation on Wednesday, several players sat out practice in hopes of health for their final game.
After losing two players to injured reserve in week 16 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and a third to IR on Wednesday in Ike Taylor; the Steelers sat several key players dealing with less-severe issues, hoping rest will benefit their availability for Sunday's season ending game against the Cleveland Browns.
Mike Wallace, who missed practice time last week due to illness, tweaked a hamstring against the Bengals. Curtis Brown strained an Achilles tendon against the Bengals, after dealing with a knee issue last week. Keenan Lewis has been playing through a hip flexor and knee pain through the past few weeks, but was able to participate against Cincinnati.
While all three were completely held out of practice, none are expected to miss the game. Troy Polamalu was also held out of practice for precautionary measure, as he continues to play through recovery from a calf injury that forced him to miss most of the 2012 season.
Rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams, who has been sidelined by a leg injury through the latter half of the season, continues to improve, practicing on a limited basis on Wednesday. His progress will be evaluated throughout the week, and no word has been given towards his availability. If he is unable to play, expect the same line configuration we saw against Cincinnati, of: Max Starks, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and Kelvin Beachum.
Everyone else participated fully as the Steelers prepare for their farewell performance of 2012, which could be played in a snow globe if weather projections prove accurate. Because of legitimate concern over swirling winds and heavy precipitation, some players took to the outdoors to "play in the snow". Punter Drew Butler was photographed punting through the wintery mix this afternoon. The Steelers cannot be accused of not preparing for every possible situation simply because their team is no longer playoff-eligible.
While there may not be much riding on the Steelers final home game for 2012, the game itself may yet prove to be memorable. Between the snow, the Browns, and the inexperienced guys sure to see snaps, anything can happen.