Steelers reinstate Ta'amu
Rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu was reinstated Monday, two weeks after the Steelers suspended him following his arrest on multiple counts resulting from an early-morning South Side police chase Oct. 14.
What Ta'amu must prove now is that he has a role in the Steelers' future. The fourth-round draft pick has yet to play in a game, and he made the season-opening roster despite an uneven preseason.
The Steelers did not immediately make other changes to their 53-man roster because they were granted a temporary roster exemption.
• The Giants (6-2) will challenge the Steelers on Sunday with a proficient offense that is fourth overall (396.8 yards per game) and sixth in passing yardage (282.1). Eli Manning is seventh in passing, one spot ahead of Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers are second in total defense (274.1 yards) and second against the pass (182.6). The teams haven't met since the Giants won at Heinz Field in 2008, the last time the Steelers lost there to an NFC team. Ike Taylor said the Steelers often rise to the level of their competition. “We're very competitive — just watch us in our locker room, and you'll understand,” he said. “We're just so competitive.”
• James Harrison isn't having his typical impact season after missing the offseason, training camp and the first three games with a left knee injury. He has one sack, and Pro Football Focus ranks him 21st among the 30 outside linebackers who play most in a 3-4 defense. But Harrison said he is improving every week, and he was credited with three quarterback hurries Sunday. “I didn't get the same workout schedule I got in previous seasons, where you have the OTAs, the coaching sessions, training camp and the preseason games,” he said. “I'm starting off from scratch. It will get better each week.”
• Roethlisberger, the NFL's most-sacked quarterback the previous five seasons, was not sacked Sunday — the fourth time this season in which he was dropped once or not at all. Roethlisberger now has at least one touchdown pass against every NFL team after throwing three against the Redskins. He didn't have any in his first two starts against them. And maybe he should be called Mr. October; he has a 25-8 record during the month.
• Jonathan Dwyer's consecutive 100-yard games are the first by a Steelers running back since Willie Parker in the first two games in 2008. Dwyer began the season third on the depth chart, behind Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman, both of whom were hurt Sunday. “He's coming to the sideline and telling us after a play he didn't get as much as he wanted, but ‘You guys just keep doing what you're doing, and we're going to bust one,'” right guard Ramon Foster said. “He's a smart guy, a very skilled guy,and I'm glad we're blocking for him.”
• Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III ran only six times against the Steelers after carrying 22 times for 227 yards against the Vikings and Giants. Were the running lanes simply not there, or was his game plan to try to beat Pittsburgh with his arm? “We wanted to let him throw the ball and not let him beat us with the run game,” linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. “I think we did a good job of putting pressure on him and didn't let him beat us with his legs.”
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