ShareThis Page

Steelers defensive end Keisel set for return

| Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011

The Steelers' Brett Keisel returned to practice Wednesday, and the veteran defensive end said he will play Sunday against the visiting Tennessee Titans. Keisel has missed the past two games because of a sprained right knee.

"It felt really good," Keisel said of the knee, which he injured against Seattle. "It's just a matter of going out and doing football movements and trying to do it at full speed. There wasn't anything that indicated that I wouldn't (play Sunday)."

Keisel's return comes at a good time for the Steelers, and not just because they yielded 155 rushing yards to Houston's Arian Foster last Sunday.

• Aaron Smith, who starts at left defensive end, didn't practice Wednesday. He is questionable for Sunday's game because of a sprained foot. Smith was wearing a walking boot yesterday, as was running back Mewelde Moore, who is nursing a sprained ankle and is unlikely to play against the Titans.

• Others who didn't practice Wednesday because of injuries were running back Rashard Mendenhall (hamstring), nose tackle Casey Hampton (shoulder), left guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee), outside linebacker Jason Worilds (quadriceps) and cornerback Cortez Allen (ankle). Wide receiver Hines Ward was given a veteran's day off, and outside linebacker James Harrison was not at the facility as he underwent surgery to correct a fractured orbital bone.

• The Steelers practiced in pads Wednesday and are expected to do the same Thursday. Teams are only allowed to practice twice in pads in the same week once during the season, per the new collective bargaining agreement. Inside linebacker James Farrior, echoing coach Mike Tomlin's sentiments, said the time is right for the Steelers to have back-to-back padded practices.

"It gives everybody a better look in practice," the Steelers' defensive captain said. "It helps your timing. It gives you a better feel for what you need to be doing in the game."

• The Steelers signed former Auburn running back Tristan Davis to their practice squad Wednesday and released safety Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith. Davis is emulating Titans running back Chris Johnson in practice. The Steelers released offensive tackle Chris Scott to make room on their 53-man roster for Max Starks. Scott, a fifth-round draft pick in 2010, played in two games this season.

• Titans kick returner Marc Mariani (hip) and tight end Craig Stevens (rib) did not practice Wednesday because of injuries. Safety Chris Hope, a former Steeler, has been ruled out of Sunday's game because of a forearm injury.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.