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Steelers notebook: Polamalu reports no pain issues with ankle

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Chaz Palla | Tribune Review
The Steelers' Troy Polamalu says the team's defense is dependent on the play of its safeties.

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, 7:34 p.m.
 

Safety Troy Polamalu said his still-healing calf “felt really good out there (Sunday)” — a major improvement for a player who disliked sitting out seven consecutive games.

“This game all depends on the success of the safeties,” Polamalu said. “Ben (Roethlisberger) can go out there and throw 10 picks if he wants to, but if we don't do what he does on the back end, they are going to put points on the board. The defense is dependent on what we safeties do.”

• Roethlisberger won't need a radar gun to tell him when his throwing is back to normal. “I'm getting there,” said Roethlisberger, who is healing from shoulder and rib injuries. “I have to talk to Heath (Miller). He's my barometer. He tells me how close I am to 100 percent on velocity and stuff like that.”

• Reggie Wells, the former South Park High, Clarion University and Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman, re-signed Wednesday with the depleted Chargers. He was with them earlier in the season but did not play. The Chargers lost three offensive line starters to injuries Sunday against Cincinnati.

• The Steelers' sideline was crowded — offensive linemen Mike Adams (ankle), Willie Colon (knee), wide receivers Antonio Brown (ankle) and Mike Wallace (knee), cornerback Ike Taylor (ankle), safety Ryan Clark (hip) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ankle) all missed practice Wednesday. Polamalu was given a day off.

• Taylor hasn't missed a game to injury since breaking into the NFL in 2003, but a fractured right foot will keep the Steelers cornerback out for approximately four games, ending his streak of 135 consecutive games played — the ninth longest in the league. “It's hard for him to even come into the meeting rooms he's so upset,” cornerback Keenan Lewis said.

• Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham was selected as AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season. He connected on all three field-goal attempts against the Ravens, including the 42-yard game-winner on the final play.

— Alan Robinson and Mark Kaboly

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