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I step away from my computer for a day and a half, and a whirlwind of developments take place.  Some are good, some not.  Huge thanks to steelerinchicago for posting the developments as they transpired.

*The big news is the emergency appendectomy of QB Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben was absent from today's practice, and team officials later confirmed that he had undergone abdominal surgery to remove his appendix.  What can I say?  This is horrible luck.  Bad timing.  Unlike his motorcylce accident which was far more preventable, this is obviously uncontrollable.  Roeth is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.  Thank God Charlie Batch has looked good.  We'll dive more into the subject this week as we look ahead to the opener this Thursday against the Dolphins.

*The Steelers have decided on their 9-man practice squad.  8 of the 9 players participated in the Steelers training camp: TE Jon Dekker, DE Orien Harris, RB Cedric Humes, QB Omar Jacobs, FB John Kuhn, CB Anthony Madison, DE Shaun Nua and OT Brandon Torrey. The final player, WR Marvin Allen, is part of the NFL's International Player Development Program, and will remain on the Steelers practice squad through.  

*Final cuts were made yesterday afternoon.  Omar Jacobs was cut before being named to the practice squad, but will probably find himself dressed up this Thursday as Charlie Batch's back-up.  OL Barret Brooks injured his quadriceps in Thursday's preseason finale and will miss the entire 2006 season.  He was put on injured reserve yesterday.  I guess the injury to Chidi helped Sean Morey more than he'd like to admit.  Morgan is a much better receiver than Morey, but without Chidi making plays on special teams, the Steelers were perhaps forced to keep Morey, a fine special teams player himself.

*CB Ike Taylor was awared a hefty contract extension of 4 years, and $22.5 million dollars.  The deal is under market value, but it still makes Taylor the richest CB in Steelers history.  Of the $22.5 million, $6.4 million is guaranteed.  Taylor has been great since the Steelers drafted him in 2003, and sure the deal may be slightly under market value, but I still find it strange that Taylor's new deal is worth almost twice as much as the extension signed by Willie Parker a few days ago.