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Steelers notebook: RB Redman downplayed concussion

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By Ralph N. Paulk and Mark Kaboly
Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 8:03 p.m.

The Steelers on Thursday defended their handling of a head injury that running back Isaac Redman suffered against the Bengals earlier this season.

Redman was injured on the opening kickoff Sept. 16 at Paul Brown Stadium. The team announced during the game that Redman was experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Redman later was cleared to play and returned to the field midway through the first quarter.

The Steelers released a statement Thursday insisting it followed the mandated concussion guidelines of the NFL and the players' association.

“Isaac was taken out of the game, and we announced that he was being evaluated for a concussion,” the team's statement said. “He was then taken through the proper protocol by our medical staff, and it was deemed he was cleared to return to action after multiple examinations. He then re-entered the game and saw action shortly thereafter and throughout the rest of the game.”

Redman, who had been penciled in as the starter against the Bengals, rushed for 4 yards on three carries in the 20-10 loss. The fourth-year back played sparingly against Chicago on Sunday at Heinz Field and did not have a carry.

Redman is likely to enter Sunday's game against the Vikings in London third on the depth chart behind rookie Le'Veon Bell and Jonathan Dwyer. He practiced Thursday and wasn't listed on the team's injury report.

Vikings passing game a threat, too

The Steelers will have all eyes on Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, but defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau warned that the Vikings' big, physical receivers can't be ignored.

“Peterson is such a threat that if you're not right on your keys they have some good wide receivers — and they have several — they'll sneak in behind you,” LeBeau said. “So you always are concerned about playing against a great running back and going against a play-action pass.”

The Vikings use several sets, including three-receiver formations, to give quarterback Christian Ponder various options. The play-action passes have been mostly successful along the boundaries instead of the seams, according to cornerback Cortez Allen.

“It all starts with Peterson,” cornerback Ike Taylor said. “They're a big play-action team, but we have to respect the run.”

“They have a lot of speed at wide receiver in (Jerome) Simpson and (Greg) Jennings,” linebacker Lawrence Timmons said. “They can always stretch the field, and they can still score because they have playmakers.”

Injury report

Tight end Heath Miller was limited during Thursday's practice, but there were no obvious signs that he aggravated his surgically repaired right knee. Miller played Sunday for the first time since injuring his knee against the Bengals last December.

Allen (ankle)was listed as a full participant in practice along with Bell (foot), defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) and defensive tackle Steve McLendon (hamstring).

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was limited in practice with a rib injury but is expected to start.

Pressing for turnovers

LeBeau said he isn't panicking yet about the Steelers' inability to force turnovers. But he acknowledges the defense has to do more to help an inconsistent offense.

“We've had the ball out, and we've had the ball bouncing around,” he said. “We just didn't get it, but there's no question that we've got to help our guys and get some turnovers to get some field position. We've got to do better there. There's no doubt about that.”

The Steelers and Vikings have had trouble holding on to the football during their 0-3 starts.

The Vikings' 10 turnovers are one more than the Steelers. However, Minnesota has 10 takeaways, and the Steelers have yet to record one.

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