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Steelers injury report: Steve McLendon, Cortez Allen out, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu expected to play

The Steelers get back a few veteran defensive players, but one of them is out again as the Steelers host the New Orleans Saints in Week 13.

Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Steelers will see the return of cornerback Ike Taylor in their Week 13 game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

The only things spoiling that are nose tackle Steve McLendon, who will miss his fourth game this season with a shoulder injury, plus linebacker Ryan Shazier and right tackle Marcus Gilbert who both are questionable.

It hasn't been said whether Taylor will return to the starting lineup, but the absence of Allen (thumb) likely means they'll expect him to play a healthy number of snaps. Also rejoining him in the secondary is Troy Polamalu, who missed the team's last two games with a knee injury.

They'll be without Steve McLendon, who will miss his fourth game this season with the same shoulder injury that has been hampering him since midseason. Rookie Dan McCullers started against Tennessee in McLendon's absence, and that may be the route the Steelers go again. Cam Thomas has moved from defensive end to nose tackle previously as well. That bumped rookie Stephon Tuitt into the starting lineup.

The last time Mike Adams started for the Steelers, this happened.

Gilbert would likely be replaced by Mike Adams in the starting lineup - something that may actually prove advantageous to the Steelers, considering their opponents. The Saints aren't a particularly strong run-defensive team and Adams is thought to be a better pure run-blocker than Gilbert. The Steelers had one of their biggest offensive outputs in team history the last time Adams started at right tackle - a 51-34 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8.

Allen broke his thumb in the team's Week 11 win over the Tennessee Titans and had surgery over the bye-week. He's in a cast, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said this week would be used to determine whether Allen could play with the cast on his hand.