Mike Tomlin announced at his press conference today that Willie Parker and Casey Hampton will miss the Baltimore game. Hampton suffered a groin injury during the Eagles game and Parker apparently strained his knee late in the game. Chris Hoke and Rashard Mendenhall will start in their place.
After only three weeks, the Steelers two biggest concerns, a porous offensive line and an aging defensive line, are threatening to derail Pittsburgh's hopes for a fast start to the season. We know Hoke can do an adequate job at nose tackle, but this is a big blow to the defense. The Steelers game plan against Baltimore undoubtedly focused around stopping the run game first and making rookie QB Joe Flacco beat them through the air. It is much more difficult to stop the run game without Big Snack and Keisel eating up blockers.
For those of you demanding more carries for Mendenhall, you'll get your wish. Parker has never had much luck against the Ravens defense, and Rashard probably won't fare much better. It's a tough match up for his first start.