Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) was ruled out of Pittsburgh's Week 6 Thursday Night game at Tennessee, leaving the Steelers with two absent defensive starters for the road contest.
Playing without defensive starters isn't breaking news. Week 5 against Philadelphia was the first, and still only, time in 2012 they went into a game with a full compliment of healthy starters on the defensive side of the ball.
Safety Troy Polamalu will also miss Thursday's game with a calf injury. He was ruled out earlier in the week.
The Steelers were down James Harrison and Ryan Clark in Week 1, and Polamalu replaced Clark and joined Harrison on the inactive list due to injury for Week 2. Both of them missed Week 3 as well.
With Harrison back, now Woodley replaces him - something that happened multiple times in 2011 as well. Harrison had a broken orbital bone in his eye socket stemming from a hit he took in a Week 4 loss at Houston. Harrison came back for Pittsburgh's Week 9 game, just as Woodley was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The pair only were on the field once in the next five games, Pittsburgh's Week 14 game at Cincinnati. Woodley played briefly before re-injuring his hamstring.
Woodley returned for Pittsburgh's Week 15 game against San Francisco, perhaps ahead of schedule, due to Harrison's suspension for a hit on Browns quarterback Colt McCoy in Week 14.
Harrison returned in Week 16 and through the playoffs, but Woodley missed Weeks 16 and 17. They both played in Pittsburgh's wild card round playoff loss at Denver.