Timmons, Kirschke to sit out Monday's game
Already unlikely to have safety Ryan Clark for Monday night's game against Denver, the Steelers will be missing two more starters on the defensive side of the ball.
Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons and defensive end Travis Kirschke missed practice for the third consecutive day Saturday and each said after the final tuneup before Monday's game that they will not play against the Broncos.
"I am not going to be able to play," said Timmons, who is nursing a right ankle injury he suffered two weeks ago against Minnesota.
Kirschke, who is already filling in for the injured Aaron Smith at left end, has a torn left calf muscle that hasn't responded well enough over the past two weeks for him to give it a go Monday.
"No, I am not going to be able to go," Kirschke said. "I am just going to have to be patient."
Timmons will be replaced by Keyaron Fox, while veteran Nick Eason will start for Kirschke.
Timmons was injured when teammate Casey Hampton accidentally rolled up on his ankle during a Percy Harvin reverse.
Timmons is second on the team with three sacks and sixth in tackles with 28. He missed the first two games of the year with a left ankle sprain.
"We have a long season," Timmons said. "We are only at the halfway point, so there is no use in rushing. Keyaron Fox is good, and I am sure he is going to go out and play great. We have a lot of faith in him. We will be fine."
Eason has made only four starts in his seven-year career and Monday will be his first since Oct. 28, 2007.
"We have confidence in all the guys coming in because they have been there before," linebacker James Farrior said. "We are just going to do the same thing that we have always done."
As for Clark, he would not comment on whether he will play against the Broncos, but all indications point toward him sitting out due to the danger with sickle cell trait in high altitude even though he was listed on yesterday's practice report as a full participant.
Clark did not work with the first team and spent a portion of practice with a green No. 20 practice jersey simulating Broncos' safety Brian Dawkins.
Kick returner Stefan Logan has come close a number of times of breaking one for a touchdown but has yet been able to do so.
"I am always close, but close isn't good enough," Logan said. "I want to break one. I don't want to be close, close, close."
Logan is 12th in the league in kick returns for players with at least 10 opportunities, averaging 26.5. He is second behind Cleveland's Joshua Cribbs with the most 20-yard returns with 19 and is 19th in punt returns, averaging 7.5.
"I am doing OK, but I can do a lot better," Logan said. "I just want to break for that long run and make it a foot race. If I get caught then, oh well."
Linebacker James Harrison was passing out his book "Never Give Up" to teammates in the locker room after practice, and even taking the time to sign a few who asked.
The book was released last week.