Ike Taylor to have surgery on broken thumb Tuesday
Ike Taylor will have surgery on his broken left thumb Tuesday.
After that, it gets a little sketchy concerning how long the Steelers' best cornerback will be sidelined.
"We're anticipating participation from him after a number of days once the thing settles down after surgery," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after practice Sunday.
Tomlin said that Taylor, who broke his thumb on the second play of the Steelers' first preseason game, will wear some sort of protective gear when he returns to practice.
Taylor didn't provide much more clarity on the injury, which he classified as a "freak accident."
He said he doesn't know if he will wear a cast or if he will be ready for the Steelers' regular-season opener in Baltimore.
Precedent dictates Taylor will play against the Ravens on Sept. 11. The ninth-year veteran hasn't missed a game since becoming a starter in 2005.
"He's going to play," Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said. "Ike's a warrior."
Ward, who had thumb surgery during the offseason, took a good-natured jab at Taylor and the hands that at times betray him.
"Playing with a cast on, hopefully it helps Ike catch more interceptions -- put some sticky on the cast or something," Ward said.
• Defensive end Aaron Smith knocked some rust off last Friday night, playing in a game for the first time since last October. "It was a little awkward," said Smith, who is coming back from a partially torn triceps, "but it was nice to be out there running around. It will be even nicer when it's a full, all-out game." The Steelers were outplayed by the Redskins, but Smith said it was no cause for alarm. "We've got a ways to go, and we understand that," Smith said. "I think we'll get better and better as each week goes on."
• James Harrison said preseason games serve a purpose, but the outside linebacker shrugged off coach Mike Tomlin's decision not to play him last Friday. Harrison had two surgeries during the offseason, and Tomlin said the five-time Pro Bowler hadn't practiced enough prior to the preseason opener. "Everybody needs snaps just to get a feel for it," Harrison said of preseason games. "It's not the same speed as it is in practice, but we've got three more games left so I'm not worried about it."
• Rookie running back Baron Batch is scheduled to have surgery Wednesday, one week after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Batch had been one of the stars of training camp before going down with a noncontact injury that ended his season. The Steelers will place the 2011 seventh-round pick on injured reserve at some point.
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