Like clockwork, the Steelers' offensive line over the last season and a half has seen injuries among it, and consistency from left guard Ramon Foster.
Heading into the start of practice before the team faces the NFC North-leading Detroit Lions, the injuries are there, but this time, Foster is one with an unhealthy outlook.
Foster suffered a high ankle sprain in Pittsburgh's Week 10 win over Buffalo, casting some doubt over his availability in the early portion of the week. Right guard David DeCastro suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 8, and he missed Week 9.
If Foster is unable to play, Guy Whimper will replace him.
As Post-Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette pointed out in his notebook column Wednesday, the team will use its fifth different offensive line combination in its last 10 games if Foster cannot play. They used seven different combinations in their final 11 games last season.
Rookie safety Shamarko Thomas has already been ruled out with - what else? - a high ankle sprain.
Expect three other offensive linemen to be limited in the early portion of the week. Mike Adams (ribs), Kelvin Beachum (hip flexor) and Fernando Velasco (knee) will likely take it easy Wednesday in an effort to ensure there are at least some linemen capable of playing Sunday against Detroit. Also expected to be limited early this week are defensive end Brett Keisel (foot, plantar fasciitis), LaMarr Woodley (calf).
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- Lions vs. Steelers: Shamarko Thomas ruled out in Week 11
- Steelers Film Room: Steelers take control in the trenches
- BTSC Week 11 Power Rankings
- It's hard for Haley to ignore the chip on Jonathan Dwyer's shoulder
- Ben Trade Rumors: Rapoport stands by his story in wake of mounting criticism