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Steelers may sign Najeh Davenport

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By Scott Brown
Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2008

Najeh Davenport worked out for the Steelers this morning and he could sign with his former team today.

Coach Mike Tomlin said the Steelers will sign two running backs in advance of this Sunday's game at Jacksonville to address an alarming lack of depth at the position.

The Steelers will be without starting running back Willie Parker (sprained knee) against the Jaguars, Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference, and Rashard Mendenhall is out for the season with a fractured shoulder.

Carey Davis, who didn't finish the Steelers' 23-20 overtime win against the Ravens Monday because of a sprained ankle, could play against the Jaguars.

Davis and Mewelde Moore are the only running backs on the 53-man roster that are capable of playing against the Jaguars.

In addition to Davenport, who served as Parker's backup the previous two seasons, the Steelers could sign Gary Russell from their practice squad.

Russell had been on the Steeler' 53-man roster through the first two weeks of the season but the team released him prior to their Sept. 21 game at Philadelphia and later re-signed him to the practice squad.

In other injury news, the Steelers will again be without starting nose tackle Casey Hampton (groin) and starting defensive end Brett Keisel (calf). In addition to Mendenhall the Steelers the place will starting right guard Kendall Simmons, who ruptured his Achilees heel against the Ravens, on injured reserve.

Tomlin said Darnell Stapleton, who filled in for Simmons Monday night, and Trai Essex will compete for the starting job at right guard.

Tomlin said the team has not ruled out giving starting right tackle Willie Colon a look at right guard but added that Stapleton or Essex is the short-term solution for now.

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