Polamalu, Kemoeatu will sit against Packers
As expected, the Steelers will be without All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu on Sunday against Green Bay, and coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that left guard Chris Kemoeatu also will miss the game. Kemoeatu has been battling right knee and right wrist injuries.
"It is an accumulation of injuries that has really rendered his play ineffective," Tomlin said.
Kemoeatu missed the Baltimore game Nov. 28 because of a strained MCL but returned against Oakland and Cleveland.
"We have a great deal of admiration for his willingness to play amid the circumstances," Tomlin said, "but just because he is willing doesn't mean it is the right thing to do."
Undrafted rookie free agent Ramon Foster will start in Kemoeatu's place.
» Polamalu will miss his fifth straight game and ninth of the year. He had an MRI on his knee the day before the Cleveland game, and it revealed the injury wasn't healed enough for him to be able to play.
Center Justin Hartwig had his knee drained Monday, and receiver Hines Ward still is dealing with a hamstring injury. Both will be limited early in the week but are expected to play.
» Tomlin praised Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers for his work on third down. Rodgers leads all NFL quarterbacks in third-down passer rating at 127.9. Ben Roethlisberger is ranked 24th, just behind Brady Quinn, Chad Henne and Marc Bulger, at 64.5.
» Tomlin stated the obvious in regard to the Steelers' short-yardage offense: It isn't good enough. Rashard Mendenhall is 16th in the AFC in third-and-1 conversion percentage, at 50 percent (6 for 12). Ex-Pitt running back Lousaka Polite of the Dolphins is tied with Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard atop that list at 8 for 8.
» Jeff Reed is 36th in the 32-team NFL in touchbacks, with one. Thirteen kickers have double-digit touchbacks. ... Tomlin said Packers cornerback Charles Woodson is having a "Player-of-the-Year" type season. Woodson is tied with the Saints' Darren Sharper for the NFL lead in interceptions, with eight.