It's looking like the needle is pointing more toward the two Steelers' Defensive Players of the Year, James Harrison (2008) and Troy Polamalu (2010), not playing in Sunday's Week 2 game vs. the New York Jets.
It's just the latest setback for a team that's experienced a rash of injuries all over its starting positions dating back to last season.
Polamalu injured his calf in the Steelers' 31-19 loss at Denver in Week 1, and has not practiced at all this week. Same with Harrison, who's still tending to his knee after arthroscopic surgery in August.
Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee) and offensive tackle Max Starks (illness) also missed Thursday's practice. It's unlikely Sylvester will play, but Starks most likely will.
Running back Jonathan Dwyer, who missed Wednesday's practice, returned at full strength Thursday, and should see a good amount of carries on Sunday. Rashard Mendenhall practiced fully again, but will likely miss his second consecutive game as he continues to rehabilitate his knee after surgery in January to repair a torn ACL.
Defensive end Ziggy Hood didn't practice fully Wednesday but returned Thursday, and is expected to play Sunday.