Steelers injury report: Running backs set the tone once again

Rob Carr

Every game, it's someone new. The Steelers running back corps has been decimated by injuries over the last two seasons, and that streak continued in Monday's loss to Washington.

Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer looked pretty solid in the Steelers' 24-13 loss to the Washington Redskins Monday. It was a good thing he did, because the Steelers don't really have any running backs left.

Maybe Isaac Redman and LaRod Stephens-Howling were kept out of Monday's game more for precautionary reasons. Maybe rookie Le'Veon Bell will be ok. Maybe even fullback Will Johnson's ribs aren't cracked or broken or otherwise left in a state of disconnection.

There are lots of maybes, but few running backs.

Dwyer took full advantage of his opportunity, granted by a lack of health from his position-mates. Bell has a mid-foot sprain, and an MRI today will reveal whether that diagnosis will be expanded to include the word "Lisfranc" and the numbers "8-10" like his teammate Matt Spaeth, who had a similar injury. Stephens-Howling, the star from the Steelers' first preseason loss, had a knee strain, and did not dress. Redman suffered a stinger in practice, and Baron Batch suffered a stinger in the game.

Different injuries, some new names, but the same general story. Steelers running backs being inactive due to injury.

Bell, who left the game after four carries, could miss three to four weeks, which is a common recovery time for a sprained foot. That timeline would put him out of the team's first game Sept. 8 vs. Tennessee. His status will be confirmed later Tuesday.

Redman will likely see a fair chunk of action in the team's next game - assuming he makes it until then. Now that training camp is over, the team won't have contact in practice. Stephens-Howling, who performed very well in the preseason-opening loss to the Giants, is day-to-day.

The mentality may be "Next Man Up," but the reality is closer to "Next One Down."

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