Penalties wipe out two long TD returns by Rainey
• Steelers rookie linebacker Sean Spence sustained a serious left knee injury late in the third quarter. Spence, a third-round draft pick, was surrounded by teammates as he was taken off the field wearing an air cast. The Steelers will open the regular season in Denver on Sept. 9 without two of their top rookies — including their No. 1 draft pick, guard David DeCastro, who suffered a knee injury last week at Buffalo. Also, safety Robert Golden sustained a hamstring injury.
• Nose tackle Casey Hampton got the start and played three possessions. It was his first live action since he injured his knees in the Steelers' AFC wild-card loss at Denver in January.
• The absence of injured tight end David Johnson has given free-agent fullback Will Johnson a chance to prove himself. The West Virginia product helped spring Jonathan Dwyer for a couple of big gains.
• The Steelers' cornerbacks of the future — Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown — had a rough night. Brown suffered a knee injury in the first quarter, and Allen's confidence may have been shaken on the Panthers' first possession in the second half. Allen committed face mask and pass interference penalties before letting wide receiver Jared Green beat him on a 3-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 10.
• Rookie running back Chris Rainey scored on punt returns of 78 and 90 yards against Carolina at Heinz Field in the final preseason game. But holding penalties on Will Allen and Ryan Mundy wiped out the two sparkling returns. Rainey proved again he can strike from anywhere on the field. The Steelers appeared to solve some of their problems in the return game under new special teams coordinator Amos Jones, who replaced fired Al Everest last week.
— Ralph Paulk
Show commenting policy
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.
- Veteran LB Harrison: Steelers must play to way defense is set up
- Steelers notebook: Fully healthy, rookie WR Bryant progressing fast
- ‘Big play’ moniker fits veteran Steelers cornerback Gay
- Steelers’ prime-time games shrink attendance at Heinz Field
- Steelers offense puts up gaudy numbers in season’s 1st half
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger, offense must adjust with CB Smith out
- Robinson: Rooney retains North Side roots
- Roethlisberger’s performance arguably among NFL’s greatest
- Steelers look ahead vs. Baltimore Ravens: All John Harbaugh does is win
- Steelers notebook: Offensive lineman Adams returns to reserve role
- Snapshot in time: Comparing Cowher, Tomlin drafts