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'Trial and error' for Steelers cover man Taylor

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By Mark Kaboly and Ralph N. Paulk
Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011
 

Cornerback Ike Taylor tried out a cast during practice Wednesday, but won't make a decision on how he will protect his recently healed left thumb until later in the week.

"It's trial and error," Taylor said.

He has a cast covering his wrist and thumb. The four other fingers remain exposed.

Taylor broke his thumb during the second play of the first preseason game against Washington. He had surgery a few days later but has been, for the most part, able to participate in practice, minus the hitting.

"I feel good," said Taylor, who had the pin removed from his thumb Tuesday.

> > Safety Troy Polamalu missed two games and played the better part of the rest of last year with an Achilles injury, bringing into question whether or not he will be 100 percent for Sunday's season opener against Baltimore.

"I feel awesome," Polamalu said Wednesday . "We will see how this year turns out, but I can't imagine feeling any better than I do know."

> > Left tackle Jonathan Scott has a pretty formidable challenge ahead of him Sunday with Terrell Suggs, who has 10.5 career sacks against the Steelers. When asked if he was 100 percent healthy from a knee injury suffered Aug. 22, Scott responded: "Mentally, I am definitely 100 percent."

> > Quarterback Byron Leftwich responded to Jacksonville releasing then-starter David Garrard on Tuesday, making a business decision that slashed $9 million from their payroll.

"How can I be surprised?" said Leftwich, whom the Jaguars cut in 2007 days before the season opener. "It was the same situation, so I'm not surprised at anything in this league. It's going to be tough for (Garrard) him to get a team where he can be a starter. He'll have to learn the offense in two days. That was difficult time for me, which forced me to be in a backup role (in Atlanta)."

> > Receiver Hines Ward might not get the Ravens undivided attention as he has in the past, but he expects the intensity level to be just as high.

"Anytime you play a divisional rival, it's going to be a tough game," Ward said. "I don't think there's a more physical rivalry. It's two teams that generally dislike each other but respect each other to the utmost. We know to win this division, it comes down to Pittsburgh or Baltimore. What better way to kick off the season?"

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