Status report for Monday night for @Steelers: McLendon, Ike, Shamarko are out; Shazier is questionable; Keisel, Mitchell are probable.— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) October 18, 2014
The Steelers will be without second-year safety Shamarko Thomas for a second consecutive week with a hamstring injury. They may also see the return to the field of rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier, who has missed the team's last three games with a knee injury.
Free safety Mike Mitchell (knee) and defensive end Brett Keisel (knee) are both probable after having left last week's loss against the Cleveland Browns in the fourth quarter.
Ike Taylor is assumed to be out for another few weeks as his broken forearm continues to heal, and Steve McLendon was announced out earlier this week.
The Steelers are expected to start DE Stephon Tuitt, the team's second round pick in the second round of this year's draft, as Cam Thomas shifts from end to tackle in McLendon's absence. They are also expected to activate DL Dan McCullers, another rookie, for the first time this season to back up at nose tackle.
How many snaps McCullers will get is a matter of speculation, but the Steelers don't use their nose tackle on many plays (McLendon has only played about 26 snaps a game). Thomas has been unimpressive so far this year, and didn't look strong after McLendon left the game after the second quarter against Cleveland.
Be sure to tune into Steelers Final Score, BTSC's postgame wrap-up and call-in show immediately following the Steelers' Week 6 game vs. Cleveland. Listen to it by clicking on this link.