Steelers cornerback Deshea Townsend has been upgraded to probable despite a sprained neck and is scheduled to start Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Townsend got a scare last Sunday when he went numb in his neck and spine after hitting Bears quarterback Kyle Orton on a blitz. After a series of tests, no neurological damage was found and Townsend was allowed to return to practice this week. Townsend began the week listed as questionable on Pittsburgh's injury report. Left tackle Marvel Smith will miss his fourth game in five weeks with an injured ankle and will be replaced again by rookie Trai Essex. Smith was doubtful earlier in the week, but was downgraded to out after not practicing.
December 2005 - Pittsburgh Steelers Wiretap
Big Ben Hurt Again
Another week, another injury for Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger's right thumb injury "is pretty painful," he said Thursday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is hopeful it won't severely affect his throwing in Sunday's key AFC North game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury, not disclosed until Wednesday, follows injuries to both knees that kept Roethlisberger out of four games. Coach Bill Cowher also said Roethlisberger "tweaked" his ankle during a 26-7 loss to Indianapolis on Monday night, but that injury was not listed on the team's first injury report of the week. That report, issued late Wednesday afternoon, was the first disclosure of any thumb injury. Neither Roethlisberger nor Cowher mentioned it following the Colts' game.