Steelers notebook: Redskins LB's streak is in jeopardy

| Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012, 7:08 p.m.

Redskins middle linebacker London Fletcher has played in an NFL-leading 231 consecutive games, but that streak could end Sunday because of head and hamstring injuries.

If Fletcher sits out, Tampa Bay safety Ronde Barber (230 games) would top the list.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor is 10th at 129 consecutive games dating to Oct. 10, 2004. No other cornerback has played more than 87 in a row.

Injury updates

Steelers running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) missed practice Thursday for a second day in a row, which could mean another start Sunday for Jonathan Dwyer.

Center Maurkice Pouncey (right knee) was a full participant and expects to play. Kicker Shaun Suisham (ankle) was limited, but there doesn't appear to be any concern about his status. Linebacker Brandon Johnson (hamstring) didn't practice.

Dwyer in the mix

The Steelers challenged Dwyer to play his way back into the rotation after he lost a fumble Sept. 23 at Oakland, and he did after sitting out two games.

“We got down a little bit on the fumble early,” offensive coordinator Todd Haley said. “That was kind of mine and Coach (Mike) Tomlin's conversation: ‘Let's not forget we were pretty excited about this guy.' It was just good to see him bounce back and take advantage of his opportunity.”

Redskins' Royster confident

Former Penn State running back Evan Royster said the Redskins can run the ball against anyone — including the Steelers, who are ninth in the NFL against the run.

“We can come out and run the ball down people's throats. In a Mike Shanahan scheme, that's what we're going to do,” he said Thursday on TribLive Radio. “We're going to come out and pound the ball at you and (try to) open up our play-pass game and our (quarterback) keeper game. I'm sure we'll continue that against the Steelers.”

Royster has eight carries for 39 yards.

Targeting RGIII

Steelers safety Ryan Clark said it's a misconception that Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III isn't taking many big hits. He has been sacked 15 times — two more than Ben Roethlisberger.

“I've seen him get pummeled. I saw the play where Mark Barron from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lifted him off his feet,” Clark said.

“He gets hit a lot. He gets hit more than you want a quarterback to get hit.”

Dual focus

Redskins rookie Alfred Morris is 1 yard off the NFL lead with 658 rushing yards yet sometimes gets overlooked because of Griffin's breakthrough season. Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said his players can't be preoccupied with Griffin.

“We can't get mesmerized by the stuff he might do,” LeBeau said. “(Morris) is a tremendous runner and gets room to run. Let's face it: As good as Griffin III is, (Morris) is going to have the ball more than him.”

Wallace ready to move on

Receiver Mike Wallace still hasn't entirely gotten over the three passes he dropped Sunday in Cincinnati and another ball that eluded him in the end zone.

“I've been hot about it ever since, but you've got to let it go,” he said. “It was one of those nights. Hopefully, I can go crazy these next couple of weeks.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at

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