The Steelers gave multiple players some rest on Wednesday, which isn't necessarily troubling. When players miss Thursday's practice, though, concern begins to validate itself.
Steelers TE Heath Miller missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, putting his availability for Sunday's Week 3 game at Oakland in jeopardy.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Miller had separate of cartilage in his rib cage, suffered during the Steelers Week 2 win over the Jets.
His absence would be noticeable, as the Steelers take on a Raiders team that's struggling defensively. Miller has been a primary weapon to this point in the season, both in the passing game and on the ground.
As expected, neither safety Troy Polamalu nor linebacker James Harrison practiced Thursday. Harrison (knee) hasn't played this season and Polamalu (calf) missed Week 2.
Offensive tackle Mike Adams was limited in practice Wednesday and did not practice on Thursday. His absence from the game would leave the Steelers perilously thin along its offensive line, and likely would mean the activation of rookie Kelvin Beachum.
Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders all were given Wednesday off, but returned to full practice on Thursday.
LB Stevenson Sylvester, who is recovering from knee surgery during the preseason, fully practiced Thursday, indicating he may be available Sunday. It would be his first action this season.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall practiced fully again, something he's done despite not having been activated this season, and theoretically could play Sunday. The Steelers could use a jump-start in the ground game, but will not push Mendenhall - who has been rehabilitating since surgery to repair a torn ACL - back on the field too early.