Steelers' Kemoeatu looks to get off PUP list
Steelers left guard Chris Kemoeatu, who has been sidelined because of swelling in his left knee, is hoping to come off the physically unable perform (PUP) list as early as Sunday.
"It's coming along," Kemoeatu said Tuesday. "I think I'll be fine."
The swelling was so severe last month, Kemoeatu said, that he was bed-ridden for a stretch. Kemoeatu said his knee became an issue after he overdid it while training for the start of training camp. Arthritis and loose bone fragments caused the swelling.
"I probably should have just went to the doctor (when he first noticed swelling), but I thought it was just fluid, so I kind of didn't pay any attention to it," said Kemoeatu, who had been training at the University of Utah. "I just iced it, and then it got to a point where I couldn't walk on it because it was so swollen."
Kemoeatu has been running since last week and worked with blocking sleds yesterday. The seventh-year veteran plans to ease back into practice by first testing his knee in individual drills.
"I want to be 100 percent when I get out there," he said.
> > The Steelers hosted free agent tight end Reggie Kelly on Tuesday. An 11th-year veteran, Kelly has spent the last seven years with the Bengals. The 6-foot-4, 257-pounder could be a possible replacement for Matt Spaeth, even though the Steelers signed veteran John Gilmore last week to seemingly fill that role. Spaeth signed with the Chicago Bears after spending the previous four seasons with the Steelers. Kelly, whose forte is blocking, caught 10 passes for 42 yards in 16 games last season. He has 194 catches for 1,760 yards and five touchdowns in 168 career games. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin declined to talk about Kelly yesterday. "Had a nice visit, and we'll see where the process takes us," Tomlin said.
> > Gilmore, a Penn State product, texted Nittany Lions quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno after coach Joe Paterno was injured during practice Monday and ended up in the hospital.
"I told him, 'Tell Pops to walk that one off,' " Gilmore said.
Penn State said Paterno, 84, is expected to return to practice Wednesday.
"It is impressive how he gets after it," said Gilmore, who played for Penn State from 1998-2001. "I don't think it is going to take that long for him to be back out there in some capacity, whether he is in a cart, a walker or something."
Inside the ropes
» Antonio Brown making plays has been one of the constants of training camp. Fittingly, the second-year wide receiver will probably start Friday night when the Steelers visit the Washington Redskins for the first preseason game for each team. Brown is expected to get the nod over Hines Ward, who came off the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Monday but is unlikely to play Friday. Brown made his usual assortment of catches Tuesday at St. Vincent. He also figured in on the biggest play when he threw a touchdown pass to Arnaz Battle from deep in the offense's own end of the field. Brown, a lefty, said the completion he threw did not surprise him. It came on a trick play. "I played quarterback in high school and prep school and threw a touchdown pass in college," Brown said.
» The first-team offense looked sharp during a two-minute drill that was one of the highlights of practice. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger needed just three plays to get the offense into the end zone after it had started on its own 40-yard line. He hit tight end Heath Miller on a seam route and then dumped the ball off to wide receiver Arnaz Battle for a short gain. That set up the pass in which Roethlisberger looked right and then left, finding Tyler Grisham, who had slipped behind the secondary, for a 40-yard touchdown. "My arm feels good," Roethlisberger said. "Physically, I feel pretty good, and I think a lot of the guys feel pretty good as well. I think we're right where we would normally be."
» Wide receiver Mike Wallace didn't practice Tuesday because of a minor groin problem, but he said it isn't serious. Wide receiver Limas Sweed also didn't practice because of a sprained shoulder. Outside linebacker Jason Worilds (groin) and right guard Ramon Foster (minor concussion) were limited in practice. With Foster limited, Chris Scott worked with the first-team offense at right guard, while Doug Legursky lined up at left guard. Rookie Keith Williams has been getting most of the snaps with the first-team at left guard with starter Chris Kemoeatu (knee) sidelined.
» Outside linebacker James Harrison and left tackle Jonathan Scott, who has been hampered by an ankle injury, each fully practiced Tuesday. Harrison, who had back surgery twice this offseason, had missed the previous three practices.
» It may only be a preseason game Friday, but the Steelers cranked up a noise machine Tuesday to prepare the offense for a road contest.
» Heavy rains drenched the fields Tuesday afternoon and caused minor flooding in some places, relegating the Steelers to the turf field for practice.
Position: Outside linebacker
Measurables: 6-foot-1, 248 pounds
College: Fresno State, fifth-round draft pick in 2011
Competition: Carter is among a group that is looking to add depth behind LaMarr Woodley at left outside linebacker and includes Baraka Atkins and Chris Ellis, who spent last season on the Steelers' practice squad. Carter appears to be on track to making the 53-man roster although there is a lot to be decided with four preseason games still to be played.
Camp moment: Carter has stood out at times during one-on-one blocking drills. The Steelers like him as a speed pass rusher, but the coaches have also been encouraging him to add to his repertoire of moves. Carter will also have to prove to the coaches that he can play special teams to make the team.
Quotable: "I'm getting this playbook down bit by bit. Clearly I'm not 100 percent perfect on it. I'm nowhere close to that, but I'm making some big strides, and I've got to keep trying to grind."