Steelers suspend Ta'amu for two weeks after arrest
Nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu was suspended for two weeks without pay by the Steelers, who have banned the rookie from practice and all team activities during that period, according to coach Mike Tomlin.
Ta'amu, a fourth-round draft pick from Washington, wasn't activated for the team's first five games and will sit out at least two more after being charged with multiple felony and misdemeanor counts following his arrest early Sunday morning on the South Side.
The 22-year-old Ta'amu was driving a sport utility vehicle that hit several cars on 14th Street, leading to his arrest following a chase and a scuffle in which an officer punched him twice, according to a police report.
“He won't be at meetings, he won't be on the practice field and, obviously, he will not be at our facility,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “We deem his actions detriment to our efforts, to be honest, and we're treating it as such.
We thought it was very important to act and to act quickly in terms of addressing this so we can focus our efforts on the men who are playing. ... Obviously, it's a disturbing incident and one we take very seriously as members of this community and the organization which we are.”
According to the police report, Ta'amu faces felony charges of fleeing police, aggravated assault while driving drunk and three counts of aggravated assault for nearly running down three police officers.
Ta'amu also was charged with 10 misdemeanors, including resisting arrest, attempting escape, drunken driving and failure to obey traffic laws. His blood alcohol level was 0.196 percent, more than twice the legal limit, police said.
Ta'amu posted $25,000 bail and was released Sunday.
Tomlin said he wouldn't “get into the inner workings” of the decision to suspend the defensive lineman and declined to say whether the Steelers discussed releasing Ta'amu.
Note: The Steelers signed offensive lineman Jacques McClendon, a former fourth-round pick by the Lions, to the practice squad. The team also signed defensive end Corbin Bryant, who played one game for the Steelers in 2011 and spent the remainder of the season on the practice squad. To make room for McClendon on the practice squad, the Steelers released tight end Jamie McCoy.