The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the practice fields of Saint Vincent Tuesday, with the second newest member of the team on the field in tight end Justin Peelle. Unfortunately, his arrival to compete with Will Johnson to replace David Johnson at fullback took a backseat do to the announcement that offensive tackle Max Starks was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list.
While Starks was activated, he will not see action on the practice field until Friday at the earliest, and is questionable at best to see action against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night, as he is coming to speed with a different type of activity on his leg.
For the Steelers, his activation comes at a perfect time as rookie second round selection offensive tackle Mike Adams, who started the preseason opener, injured his knee and will be out at least two weeks. His injury forced the team to revamp their offensive line this week at practice, shuffling offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert from right tackle to left, and moving guard Ramon Foster outside to right tackle. Yes, these moves could create position flexibility down the line, it is damaging for a team attempting to build an identity early on in the 2012 season.
With Peelle on the field, the Steelers also turned their attention to more depth in their backfield by signing undrafted rookie free agent running back Jason Ford (Illinois) to replace John Clay who suffered a quad injury and was placed on the waived/injured list. Clay joined Johnson as the second member of the backfield to suffer season ending injuries to this point in training camp.
Also giving the running back stable a boost was the return of running backs Jonathan Dwyer (shoulder) and Isaac Redman (groin) to limited action. Going into the day, diminutive backs Baron Batch and Chris Rainey were holding down the fort as the three more physical backs were on the shelf.
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