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Steelers notebook: Polamalu, Gilbert, Carter out for Sunday's game

| Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, 1:12 p.m.
Christopher Horner
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger checks on lineman Marcus Gilbert after he was injured during the second quarter against the Titans Thursday October 11, 2012 at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn. Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review

The Steelers will be without injured safety Troy Polamalu (calf), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) and linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring) when they go for their 11th win in their past 12 games at AFC North rival Cincinnati on Sunday.

Polamalu, who has played only one quarter since the season opener, will miss his fourth game this season.

Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, held out of the 26-23 loss at Tennessee with a hamstring injury, isn't listed on the injury report and should play.

But running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (right ankle) and center Maurkice Pouncey (right knee) are questionable, and their status will be determined by how they respond during practice.

Rookie Mike Adams will replace Gilbert.

Needing reinforcements

Given the injury situation, coach Mike Tomlin might dress eight offensive linemen — rather than seven — in Cincinnati.

Depth became an issue when Gilbert and Pouncey were hurt in Tennessee, and right guard Ramon Foster limped off the field but was able to keep playing.

“I think eight linemen is a serious discussion that's going to take place given the circumstance,” Tomlin said.

Batch might play more

If Mendenhall and/or Redman can't play Sunday, Baron Batch could see increased playing time.

He impressed the Steelers enough on special teams that he served as that unit's captain during the pregame coin toss in Tennessee.

“I think his play has merited that,” Tomlin said. “He's been solid from an effort and production standpoint in that area, too.”

Batch averaged 2.2 yards on 10 carries and scored a touchdown against the Titans. He also caught a pass.

DeCastro resumes running

Right guard David DeCastro, out since injuring his right knee in a preseason game in Buffalo, has resumed running, but Tomlin won't estimate when he might return.

DeCastro was placed on the new injured reserve list that allows a player to be activated after eight weeks. Previously, a player on IR was out for the season.

“How he responds to those workouts, of course, is going to be a critical component,” Tomlin said.

Nagging questions

Wide receiver Mike Wallace knows he will be asked regularly about his contract situation until the issue is resolved.

He's playing for his $2.72 million tender this season, and the Steelers could retain him by making him their franchise player in 2013.

“It's never going to go away. Good or bad, it's always going to be out there,” Wallace said. “It's out there because of the situation (his training camp holdout) that happened. But I embrace that. I'll just let everybody else worry about it, and I'll do what I can.”

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