The list of injured players begs only two questions the Steelers must ask themselves

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

With the possibility of including LaRod Stephens-Howling in the Steelers' Bloody Sunday injury report following the loss to Tennessee, "the standard is the standard" isn't going to cut it. But what else can they do?


Records aren't kept for such things, but if they are, having three players - two starters and one who might have been a starter in Week 2 - lost for a season in one game has to be at least a spot of prominence in those books.

This hasn't been confirmed, nor has the severity of the injury LaRod Stephens-Howling sustained in the Steelers loss to the Titans Sunday, but it's getting ridiculous now.

The Steelers lost center Maurkice Pouncey and linebacker Larry Foote Sunday, and Stephens-Howling left the game with a knee injury during the second half. If Kinkhabwala's note here turns out to be Stephens-Howling's fate, the Steelers will be placing three players on injured-reserve, while tight end Matt Spaeth sits on IR-Recall.

Pouncey's injury shifts Beachum to center, which, as it turns out, robs the team of their second tight end - a position Beachum started at Sunday. That would mean either David Johnson or Michael Palmer would have to fill that role - keeping in mind neither were thought of enough to start over a back-up offensive lineman at the position.

Perhaps Heath Miller comes back next week, but like many of his teammates, he's still coming back from a knee injury.

Fullback Will Johnson did not play much in this game; he's nursing a bum hamstring. Le'Veon Bell is still coming back from a mid-foot sprain.

Jonathan Dwyer might have hurt himself leaving town, we can neither confirm nor deny. Even if he's as healthy as a horse, though, there's a pure soul's chance in Baltimore he'd sign with the Steelers now.

Cortez Allen's ankle injury isn't thought to be serious except for the fact it's his third injury since Week 14 of last year.

If anyone's keeping score, that's approximately a bleep ton of injuries for one team, and these are starting-level players. at what point do the Steelers step to the mirror and ask themselves two very difficult questions: 1.) Are we pushing them too hard in practice, and is that residual wear and tear what's causing these injuries? and 2.) Are our players just simply not tough - for all their effort and hard work, are their bodies just not capable of handling the rigors of this game?

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