PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 24: Donnie Jones #5 of the St. Louis Rams walks off of the field in front of James Harrison #92 and Ryan Mundy #29 of the Pittsburgh Steelers after missing a 33 yard field goal during the Christmas Eve game on December 24, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Two things are obvious from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's first Tuesday 'presser of the year.
Injuries are still news, and Tomlin is as vague as ever about injuries.
Essentially, what we can glean from it is the Steelers will wait to make a decision on OLB James Harrison's role in Sunday' Week 1 season-opener at Denver until he practices this week. Same can be said for RB Isaac Redman, who's still troubled by an ankle injury dating back to the Steelers' third preseason game.
In other words, nothing at all surprising. A little troubling, maybe, but more Cautious Tomlin than anything else. Second-year OLB Chris Carter would get the start in Harrison's place if he is unable to play, and logic would suggest Jonathan Dwyer would get his first career start in Redman's absence.
Tomlin did rule LB Stevenson Sylvester out of Week 1, and said Harrison, Redman, OLB Jason Worilds, RB Rashard Mendenhall, CB Curtis Brown and S Robert Golden participated in practice Monday.
Brown and Golden aren't expected to be as much of a risk of missing Sunday's game as Harrison, Redman, Worilds and Mendenhall.
Tomlin was directly to the point, yet ambiguous, as always.
We are going to leave the door open for all of those men and see where the week takes us.
Tomlin on Peyton Manning:
Anything he's involved in resembles other things he's involved in because they're usually successful. He's very efficient, he reads pass patterns and route distribution combinations very quickly, he challenges the defense with some of the things he does pre-snap. It looks very familiar but I expected it to because Peyton is Peyton.
Tomlin on WR Mike Wallace's week of practice:
I thought it was pretty productive. Like I mentioned with some of the other guys who hadn't participated much, number one I was generally, positively impressed with his general, overall understanding of what it is he needs to do. Number two, I think he displayed a decent level of overall physical conditioning. Obviously, that practice setting and that limited practice setting is not football games, it is not a hostile environment, it's not NFL stadiums, so we'll temper that excitement. We'll just continue on with the preparation process that he's under and that we're under this week.
Tomlin on Dwyer possibly starting Sunday:
He is working, as are some others. Isaac Redman, who I mentioned earlier, is coming back from an injury. That's something that we'll determine later in the week.
Tomlin on RB Chris Rainey returning punts and kicks:
He will be given the return opportunities. I am not going as far as to say he is trusted with them. He is a young guy. He is a talented guy. He's taken advantage of the opportunities we've given him thus far. Make no mistake, we have some young guys that are very credible and experienced return men, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. We are not afraid to use those guys either.