While the Pittsburgh Steelers were able to put on an offensive clinic against the Indianapolis Colts this week, they were still missing players due to injury who had been developing for the team. Today's practice saw a return for some of those players.
For @Steelers, Spaeth & Ventrone miss practice (hamstrings); Ike is limited: Gilbert, Shazier, McLendon, Shamarko full participants— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) October 29, 2014
Mike Adams showed that he was not the revolving door of an offensive tackle that he had been for most of the 2013 season after he took the field for Marcus Gilbert against the Houston Texans two weeks ago. This Sunday he was part of the spectacular protection provided by the Steelers' offensive line against the Indianapolis Colts that never allowed Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked.
Though Adams' improvement was noted, Gilbert returned to practice today for the Steelers, which doesn't bode well for Adams to get more playing time.
Shamarko Thomas' return couldn't have been better timed, as his special-teams replacement, Ross Ventrone, went down with a hamstring injury and was unable to participate in practice along with tight end, Matt Spaeth.
Steve McLendon's return should boost the effort of a defensive front that pressured Andrew Luck throughout the game on Sunday, and should only aid the unit's efforts as they prepare for Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens.
Ryan Shazier's full practice confirms that he should be ready to go this week in the mix of LeBeau's rotation of middle linebackers.
While these players were able to participate in a full practice, it shouldn't be overlooked that the Steelers saw cornerback Ike Taylor return to the field for limited practice. Having him back on the field may help a secondary that has seen a decline in the play of Cortez Allen, a player expected to be far more dependable than he has proven to be, especially during the past two weeks. But Taylor's presence doesn't mean he'll play anytime soon, and the Steelers should expect to make do with William Gay, Brice McCain, Antwon Blake and Allen.