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Steelers not expecting Polamalu for Raiders

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'American Coyotes' Series

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.

By Scott Brown
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009
 

Coach Mike Tomlin said strong safety Troy Polamalu (knee) is doubtful for Sunday's game against the visiting Oakland Raiders. Polamalu has missed the past two games with a strained posterior collateral ligament (PCL) in his left knee. Tomlin said the five-time Pro Bowler is "still a week or so away."

Left guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) will try to practice today on a limited basis, Tomlin said, and he could play Sunday.

Other Steelers who could be limited in practice this week include defensive end Travis Kirschke (calf), running back Mewelde Moore (ankle) and return specialist Stefan Logan (ribs).

» After making his first career start Sunday, quarterback Dennis Dixon is expected to go back to the bench. But Dixon, who accounted for two touchdowns in the 20-17 overtime loss, could see some spot action even when starter Ben Roethlisberger returns, Tomlin said. Dixon had a 24-yard touchdown run against the Ravens. Tomlin acknowledged yesterday that the Steelers didn't have Dixon run more in the game because they didn't want him to get hurt.

"If he ran into one of the edge men coming off that right corner or left corner, we might have been looking at (newly signed backup) Tyler Palko in that game and that would have been a little bit more unpleasant," Tomlin said.

» Tomlin said the Steelers will go with Palko, the former West Allegheny High and Pitt standout, as their third quarterback for now. The Steelers signed Palko to their 53-man roster last Saturday. In other quaterback news, Tomlin said Charlie Batch's wrist surgery last Wednesday went well.

"We're hopeful that this guy can come back to us in a couple of weeks," Tomlin said.

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