The Steelers ruled out running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman against Washington in Week 8, giving Jonathan Dwyer his second career start. Dwyer rushed for 122 yards on 17 carries in Pittsburgh's Week 7 win over Cincinnati.
It turns out the signing of safety Damon Cromartie-Smith was to replace penalty-prone special teams gunner DeMarcus Van Dyke, who is not active for the Steelers today.
Also not active are S Troy Polamalu, right tackle Marcus Gilbert, linebacker Brandon Johnson and quarterback Charlie Batch.
The Steelers ruled Gilbert and Polamalu out early this week, and Johnson and Mendenhall were ruled out in advance of the game. Van Dyke is really the only surprise, even though that shouldn't be much of a surprise, considering Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after last week's special teams penalty bonanza there would be changes coming.
Perhaps this is a wake-up call for Van Dyke, who's showed promise as a special teams gunner so far this season. The Steelers' special teams have continued to rack up penalties after both the offense and defense slowed down in this category the last few weeks.