What was originally diagnosed as a usual football injury, or one of the many "bumps and bruises" Mike Tomlin refers to when discussing injuries to the Pittsburgh Steelers, has forced Ryan Shazier out of the lineup Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
Status report for @Steelers: Shazier, McCullers are out: CAllen is questionable; Gay, Wheaton, Heyward are probable.— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) September 25, 2015
Shazier is coming off his best professional game of his young career in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers where he tallied 2 sacks, 15 tackles, a recovered fumble and forced a fumble. He lived up to the billing of a first round draft choice last Sunday at Heinz Field, but won't be on the field to help the team this Sunday in Edward Jones Dome. Shazier's shoulder is the injury keeping him out of the lineup, an injury he suffered in the 4th quarter of the team's 43-18 victory last Sunday.
Joining Shazier on the sideline will be second year nose tackle Daniel McCullers who is out with a knee injury. Both injuries will cause ripples throughout the Steelers' depth chart as Cam Thomas will be forced to spell Steve McLendon at nose tackle, and will activate either L.T. Walton or Caushaud Lyons for the game Sunday. In Shazier's absence will be the combination of Sean Spence and Vince Williams at the inside linebacker position. It is likely Spence will see the majority of snaps at the position.
Others listed on the injury report are: cornerback Cortez Allen (knee) is questionable, William Gay (not listed), Markus Wheaton (chest) and Cameron Heyward (elbow) are all probable and expected to play.
Cortez Allen's injury is another injury which could severely alter the depth chart at cornerback. The Steelers deployed a William Gay, Antwon Blake, Ross Cockrell and Brandon Boykin secondary in Week 2, and with Allen in the lineup would force either Boykin or Cockrell inactive this Sunday.
The Steelers play the Rams in St. Louis for a 1:00 p.m. EDT start time.