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Steelers Injury Report: Ryan Shazier and Shamarko Thomas 'extremely close' to return

The Pittsburgh Steelers are working their way through the first half of their schedule, and when the Indianapolis Colts come to Heinz Field Sunday they could see Ryan Shazier and Shamarko Thomas return to the lineup.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin addressed the media Tuesday for his weekly press conference and highlighted several injuries of note leading into the game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday at Heinz Field.

Ryan Shazier (knee) has been out of the lineup for four weeks with a sprained knee and there were times against the Houston Texans on Monday night when his absence was extremely evident. Shazier's return could help bolster the middle of the Steelers' defense that has been gashed by the run, and especially by the zone-blocking scheme which has caused the team fits from the start of the season.

Along with Shazier's return, second-year safety Shamarko Thomas (hamstring) could be on the mend and back in the lineup this week. Thomas' spot on the roster has been filled by Ross Ventrone who has played well on special teams in his absence. But Thomas gives the defense a player who can step in and possibly be a factor in the secondary if the situation presents itself.

Tomlin stated the only injury sustained during the Texans game was right tackle Marcus Gilbert, who suffered a concussion and did not return to the field. Gilbert will follow the concussion protocol set forth by the league and, if cleared, will return to the lineup. If unable to play, Mike Adams will be making his first start of the 2014 season.

The Steelers will practice Wednesday on a short week as the Colts come to Pittsburgh for a 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff at Heinz Field.