Share This Page

Keisel could return

Brett Keisel will try to practice this week, and there is a chance that the Steelers' defensive end could play Sunday against the Ravens in Baltimore. Keisel, who starts at right defensive end, has missed the past two games with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. "He is probably close enough to warrant some consideration to participate," coach Mike Tomlin said. Starting left tackle Marvel Smith , who has been out since early October with a bad back, will not play in Sunday's 4:15 p.m. game.

• The Steelers will monitor fullback Carey Davis , who is nursing a strained hamstring, this week. Davis sustained the only injury of note for the Steelers in their 20-13 win over the Cowboys on Sunday. "We're sitting pretty good from an injury standpoint," Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference.

• Tomlin will wait until later in the week to decide who starts at the cornerback spot opposite Ike Taylor . Bryant McFadden , who hadn't played since mid-October with a broken forearm, returned to action against the Cowboys but didn't start. Second-year cornerback William Gay made his fourth consecutive start Sunday and could be in the starting lineup against the Ravens. "I think William Gay is continuing to play well, so those are good problems to have," Tomlin said. "We feel comfortable with either one of those guys or both of those guys on the field at the same time for us." Of McFadden's play against the Cowboys, Tomlin said, "He knocked the rust off relatively quickly. He was decisive, and it looked like he moved around fluidly."

• The Steelers are 26th in the NFL in total offense, and Tomlin said one reason why the unit has struggled is because opposing defenses generally play their best game against the black and gold. The reason: the Steelers' defense. Tomlin said opposing teams don't want to get upstaged by the unit that is No. 1 in the NFL in rushing defense, passing defense and total defense. "Let's face it," Tomlin said. "When people play us, their defenses come in prepared to play." Tomlin said he is pleased with the resiliency the Steelers' offense has shown. After producing just three points through the first three quarters in Sunday's win over the Cowboys, the offense put up 10 points in the fourth quarter. "Regardless of how the game has unfolded or what troubles we've had, we've moved the ball down the field in those moments that you've got to do it if you're going to be good," Tomlin said. "We did it (last) Sunday. We did it against San Diego. I find comfort in that. Now do we need to get better and play more consistent• Absolutely."

• The Steelers will use a silent snap count at times against the Ravens on Sunday to counter expected crowd noise, Tomlin said.

• The Steelers will play a rare 1 p.m. game Dec. 21 against the Tennessee Titans. Even with the flex scheduling the NFL uses in the latter part of the season to accommodate TV, the Steelers-Titans game could not be moved. The Steelers' 1 p.m. game against the Browns on Dec. 28 is subject to change. The Steelers have played just two 1 p.m. games this season.

Digits

1 -- Victory Ben Roethlisberger needs to become the first quarterback in NFL history to win 50 games in his first five seasons.

28 -- Sacks the Ravens have recorded this season.

45 -- Sacks the Steelers have recorded this season.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.