Share This Page

Steelers defensive tackle Hoke out for year

Nose tackle Chris Hoke, in his 10th and possibly final campaign with the Steelers, will miss the rest of the season because of a lingering neck injury.

For the second time this season, the Steelers have lost a veteran defensive lineman that commanded respect on and off the field.

Nose tackle Chris Hoke, in his 10th and possibly final campaign with the Steelers, will miss the rest of the season because of a lingering neck injury.

Hoke, who has been out since suffering a stinger in an Oct. 16 game, is scheduled to have surgery next Wednesday.

The Steelers likely will sign rookie defensive end Corbin Bryant from the practice squad to take Hoke's place on the 53-man roster.

"I was sitting in the meeting room (yesterday), and I looked back probably 10 times because I always have him in my ear, telling me how to play, what to do," defensive tackle Steve McLendon said.

Hoke, 35, is in the final year of his contract. Defensive end Aaron Smith, who suffered a season-ending neck injury in October, is in a similar situation as he also is 35 and in the final year of his deal.

The question with Hoke and Smith is whether they will return to the Steelers next season, if at all.

"It's going to be tough, especially when you have an injury like that," said defensive end Brett Keisel, who is close friends with Hoke and Smith. "Those guys will have to make the decisions themselves."

Hoke made the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2001, and he served as a valuable reserve to nose tackle Casey Hampton. The Steelers were 17-1 in regular-season games that Hoke started, and the gregarious tackle is one of the most popular players on the team.

"You've got to follow a guy like that," Steelers defensive end Ziggy Hood said. "Seeing a guy like that makes you want to work harder because you can see what hard work gets you."

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.