The "doubtful" status has held true for the Steelers leading into their games this season. When a player gets that designation before a game, he doesn't play. That means the expectation heading into Week 16 against the Kansas City Chiefs is the Steelers will be without safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor.
Taylor didn't play in Week 15 due to a shoulder injury along with the recovering forearm injury he suffered earlier this year. Polamalu appeared to suffer a knee injury during the team's win over the Falcons last week, but he was able to finish the game.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in his press conference earlier this week Will Allen would be Polamalu's replacement should he be unable to play. Polamalu didn't practice at all this week, and Taylor practiced on a limited basis in the team's three sessions leading into Sunday.
Tight end Matt Spaeth, a key contributor to the team's running game, is listed as questionable after missing Wednesday and Thursday, and only practicing on a limited basis Friday. The Steelers have three tight ends on their roster, so his possible absence would mean more playing time for third-stringer Michael Palmer, who's only played 19 offensive snaps this season.
On the positive side, it appears the Steelers will get back outside linebacker James Harrison, who missed the last two games with a knee injury. Harrison is the team's most productive pass rusher per snap this season, having notched four sacks in 150 pass rushes.
All other Steelers' players are listed as probable, including Marcus Gilbert, who was scratched from the lineup last week after having practiced fully all week. It will be his first game back since the Steelers defeated the Tennessee Titans in Week 11. Mike Adams started at right tackle in all three of the games Gilbert missed.