Steelers OLB Woodley questionable for K.C.
Another starting quarterback went down — Chicago lost Jay Cutler to a broken thumb — and the Philadelphia Eagles authored another chapter in their mystery story by beating the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.
At least one thing did not change in the NFL after this weekend: The status of Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
"Day to day," he said Monday.
Woodley, who is among the NFL leaders with nine sacks, has missed the past two games with a hamstring injury. The fifth-year veteran won't play Sunday night in Kansas City unless he makes significant progress this week.
Woodley said he practiced on a limited basis Monday, doing "a few things" with the first-team defense before working out on his own.
Less encouraging for the Steelers is how Woodley sounded after the team's first practice following the bye week. Woodley talked in increments rather than significant steps in regard to what could now be the most followed comeback story in Pittsburgh.
"Every day, you just push it a little more," Woodley said. "The worst thing about a hamstring injury is that they take time to heal. If you take a look at guys across the league — coming back too early, sometimes — the next thing you know, they're out two to three more weeks. Those injuries can do those types of things, so you have to be careful."
Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis missed the last four games of the 2005 season after he tore his hamstring. Lewis, who played just six games that season, made the original injury worse by trying to return too soon.
Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson hasn't played since going down against the Steelers in early October because the Texans don't want to rush him back.
Woodley was asked Monday if this was the first true hamstring injury he has suffered, since he initially said he wouldn't miss any games because of it.
"Every week, I tell you I'm playing," Woodley said.
And this week?
"We don't know," he said with a grin.
BY THE NUMBERS
2 — Steelers' rank in third-down conversations (50.8 percent)
7 — Games, out of seven, the Steelers have won when leading time of possession
23 — Steelers' sacks through 10 games
4 — Steelers sacks on the road
27 — Kansas City's rank in passing offense (182.2 yards per game) prior to Monday night
.676 — Mike Tomlin's regular-season winning percentage, tops among active coaches (minimum 60 games)
.971 — Steelers' winning percentage under Tomlin when leading by 11 or more points
THREE QUESTIONS WITH WR Jerricho Cotchery
What was it like trying to fit in when you first signed with the Steelers?
"This is a unique, unique place. From Day 1, all of those guys welcomed me with open arms. They said, 'Put your hand in the pile, let's be ready to go.' It was refreshing to me, just being able to come into a locker room like this. It made my transition very easy. I was able to focus on learning the playbook and trying to get out on the field. I understand they don't bring many guys in. For them to welcome me the way they welcomed me, I'm definitely thankful."
What do you like most about Pittsburgh?
"It's just a great, humble place; the city and, obviously, the organization. Everyone has the same mentality. It's just a bunch of humble people that work hard, and you can respect that."
You played for Rex Ryan before Mike Tomlin. What are their differences in personality?
"I don't want to get into the comparisons. I'm just fortunate enough to be able to play for Coach Tomlin. That's one of the main reasons why I came here. What you see (with Tomlin) is what you get. From Day 1 that I met with him, I sensed that everything he was telling me was true, so I had a lot of respect for him."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Heath Miller — Steelers TE
Miller caught seven passes for 95 yards and a touchdown two years ago in Kansas City. He also lost a game-changing fumble early in the second half, something that could be in the back of his mind when the Steelers return to Arrowhead Stadium.
Tyler Palko — Chiefs QB
The former West Allegheny High star and Pitt product made his first NFL start last night at New England. Palko returns to friendlier confines, but won't receive a hometown discount from the Steelers, who are giving up 183.2 passing yards per game.
Hines Ward — Steelers WR
One of the main storylines going into the Kansas City game is how Ward figures into a passing attack that has taken off, largely without him. The Steelers' all-time leading receiver played just nine snaps in a Nov. 13 game against the Bengals.
"Obviously, this is something he has been dead-set on. We've had these meetings, we've had these talks, we've had these altercations for two years, and nothing has changed his stance on it, nothing has changed the way he wants to go about delegating his power." — Free safety Ryan Clark, responding to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's meeting with Steelers president Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin last week
"I think he's doing a great job. Watching him in that Baltimore game, he did a great job putting pressure on (Ravens quarterback Joe) Flacco, and he's getting comfortable being in there. The more you're in there and the more you work with the defense, the more comfortable you are. And since Jason has been in there in the first unit, I think he's been getting more comfortable all the time." — Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley, on second-year player Jason Worilds
"We shouldn't take any team lightly. Any team in the NFL can beat you, no matter what their record is, who their quarterback is, who they played a couple of weeks before. We need to take all of these games seriously because we need every one of these wins. — Inside linebacker James Farrior, on why the Steelers' game against the Chiefs on Sunday night
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