Steelers receiver Sweed injures his left foot
The road back for Limas Sweed may have taken a detour Sunday, when the wide receiver suffered a potentially significant Achilles tendon injury.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he didn't know the severity of the injury, but Sweed had to be taken off the practice field on a cart. He left team headquarters on crutches and with his left foot wrapped.
Sweed, a second-round pick in 2008, missed the end of last season as the Steelers put him on the reserve/non-injured illness list in late December. But he has been a regular lately at offseason drills, drawing praise from veteran receiver Hines Ward.
"You're starting to see him playing faster," Ward said Saturday. "The light usually clicks year three, year four. It's a big year for Limas."
Sweed is among a group competing to provide depth behind Ward and Mike Wallace as well as No. 3 wideout Antwaan Randle El.
McHugh back from injury
Tight end Sean McHugh, who is healthy after missing all of last season with a knee injury, is competing for a job behind starter Heath Miller and backup Matt Spaeth. Also bidding for a tight end roster spot is David Johnson.
McHugh, a former Penn State star, played 18 games for the Steelers in 2008 and saw extensive action as a hybrid tight end/fullback. And despite missing last season, the 6-5, 265-pounder has not been limited during the Steelers' 2010 practices.
"Physically, I feel great," said McHugh, who signed a three-year contract with the Steelers in 2009. "I'm still trying to get some of my football sense back, but that comes with time and practice."
McHugh has suited up for four different teams since 2004 so he is familiar with having to battle for a roster spot.
"I'm trying to be versatile and play fullback and play tight end and just try to make myself as valuable to the team as I can," McHugh said. "I've been in this thing long enough where I don't start looking at roster numbers and just go out there and work."
Ward (hamstring) didn't practice yesterday as a precaution.
"He'll be fine," Tomlin said.
The Steelers limited Justin Hartwig, but Tomlin said the team is pleased with the center's progress following offseason shoulder surgery.
"He's done a nice job with the rehabilitation," Tomlin said. "He's starting to get his weight back."
Waiting on Polamalu
Tomlin said he doesn't know if Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu will participate in the voluntary offseason practices that resume May 18.
"Ask me on the 18th," Tomlin said.
Polamalu, who took part in the mini-camp practices that are mandatory, has spent the past two offseasons training in California. But he indicated Saturday that Tomlin will influence his decision on whether he will attend the rest of the Steelers' offseason practices.
That's a wrap
In what has become a Tomlin tradition, the fourth-year head coach allowed the players to wear hats yesterday for the final practice of mini camp. Most wore baseball caps but outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley sported a cowboy hat.
You can quote me
Tomlin on suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: "I have talked to him and will continue to talk to him."
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