Steelers notebook: Brown, Polamalu out
Receiver Antonio Brown, his injured ankle still badly swollen, remained out of practice Wednesday as the Steelers began practicing for the Ravens.
Safety Troy Polamalu (calf), linebacker Chris Carter (abdomen), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle), defensive end Brett Keisel (shoulder), left tackle Max Starks (ankle) and Ben Roethlisberger (multiple) also sat out.
Such a long list isn't uncommon during the week after a Monday night game.
• Rashard Mendenhall fully participated, meaning the Steelers could have their top three running backs healthy against the Ravens. Jonathan Dwyer had two 100-yard games, and Isaac Redman had a third while Mendenhall missed four games with an Achilles injury. Coach Mike Tomlin hasn't said who would start, but running backs coach Kirby Wilson recently said Mendenhall would be in the lineup once he is healthy. Dwyer averaged 95 yards in his past three games, and Redman had a 147-yard game against the Giants.
• Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs called the Ravens-Steelers rivalry the best in sports. He'll renew pleasantries with left guard Willie Colon, usually one of the chattiest Steelers. Colon was penalized Monday for cursing an official. “We really just talk about downtown,” Suggs said, laughing. “I think we both occasionally watch ‘Basketball Wives' and ‘Real Housewives of Atlanta,' so we'll talk about the episodes”.
• Byron Leftwich will make his first start in four Steelers seasons on Sunday against Baltimore, a team that wanted him coming out of Marshall. The Ravens owned the No. 10 pick in 2003 and wanted to move up to No. 7 to take him. But Minnesota, which owned that selection, couldn't reach NFL officials in time to swing a deal and its 15-minute window to draft ran out. The Jaguars then took Leftwich; the Ravens settled for Suggs. “I remember having phone talks with (Ravens general manager) Ozzie (Newsome), and it was pretty much set in stone,” Leftwich said. “I think I had three teams with my name on a card trying to shove it in. I thought I would be a Raven, but it didn't happen that way.”
• The Steelers took their first downfield shot in three games against the Chiefs — Roethlisberger couldn't connect with Mike Wallace — and, as usual, Wallace wants more opportunities. Such throws regularly draw pass interference penalties, such as the two of 40-plus yards the Giants received against Pittsburgh. “It seems like our team, we got don't pass interference calls,” Wallace said. “We might have gotten two pass interference calls all year. We just don't get too many. Hopefully, if we go down the field, we could get a couple more.”