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Steelers defensive end Keisel is questionable

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By Mark Kaboly and Scott Brown
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011
 

Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel suffered a grade one PCL strain to his right knee and is listed as questionable for Sunday night's game against Indianapolis.

"We will see where the week takes us," said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. "But he is probably questionable, at best."

A grade one PCL strain could take as long as 4-6 weeks to heal, according to medical Web sites.

Keisel, who turned 33 on Monday, has battled multiple injuries over the past three years that have kept him off the field for 12 games.

Keisel missed three games with a calf injury and three more with a knee injury in 2008. He missed one game with a shoulder stinger in 2009 and missed five games last year with a hamstring pull.

Keisel has six tackles through two games and leads the team with five quarterback hits.

Ziggy Hood would move from the left to the right side to replace Keisel in the starting lineup.

Cameron Heyward, Chris Hoke and Steve McLendon can also fill in at defensive end in Keisel's absence.

Opponents don't like Ike

Through two games, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has been targeted only seven times.

Tomlin said there's a reason for the lack of action Taylor is getting his way, despite following the opponent's best receiver each of the first two weeks.

"He is playing at a high level," Tomlin said. "He has performed to this point and we are pleased with what he is doing."

Taylor, who has never made the Pro Bowl, has allowed only one reception in two games — a 7-yard catch by Seahawks receiver Mike Williams. And Taylor has been doing it despite having his thumb broken during the first preseason game.

"He really is, and he is doing a nice job of playing through personal adversity that he is going through in terms of his injury," Tomlin said. "Really, he is a blue print for young guys in terms of what it is about to be a veteran player and to prepare and to deal with things that occur in professional football and not allow them to become excuses."

Injury update

Tomlin said cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring), wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring) and left guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee) will be evaluated during the week before he makes a determination of their availability for Sunday's game.

More Ravens, anyone?

Steelers fans may want to forget the 35-7 loss to the Ravens in Week 1, but a partnership between Discovery Communications and the NFL will give fans a unique look into one of the most heated rivalries in the league.

"NFL Single Game Coverage" debuts Wednesday night on Velocity, Discovery's new upscale men's cable network at 8 p.m., with an in-depth look at the Steelers-Ravens game from Sept. 11. At 8:30 p.m., "NFL Greatest Rivalries" debuts on Velocity and delves into the history of the Steelers-Ravens rivalry.

Backing it up

Mike Wallace leads all NFL receivers with 16 receptions through two games, mostly from running shorter routes. But Wallace has still shown the ability to get behind defenses despite having led the league in yards-per-catch last season.

Wallace made one highlight-reel catch for 53 yards against the Seahawks, and also drew a 40-yard interference call after getting behind Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner early in the first half.

"We all knew that Randy Moss was fast, and it didn't change the highlight reels week-in and week-out," Tomlin said. "When a guy has a distinguished skill set, you have to deal with it, even though you know it is coming. That's the awesome challenge of coaching and playing in the NFL."

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