Pittsburgh Steelers 17 Carolina Panthers 16
The knee gods giveth, and the knee gods taketh away. Again.
Last week we saw the return of Max Starks, who came back from injuring his ACL in January’s playoff game. The warm tingly feeling of Starks rejoining the Steelers once again had barley worn off before top draft pick David DeCastro went down with a severe knee injury of his own.
This week, Casey Hampton made his first start since that fateful game in January in which he too injured his ACL. This time third round draft pick Sean Spence went down with what Head Coach Mike Tomlin calls a “significant” knee injury. You hate to see so many young players go down with injuries right before the start of the season.
As for the rest of the game, it wasn’t a pretty affair, but the Steelers held on for the win. Fifth round draft pick Chris Rainey had punt return touchdowns of 78 and 90 yards called back due to penalties. He didn’t have much in the way of official yards on the night, but this should catch some attention on special teams.
The Steelers wrap up the preseason by going 3-1. They very well could have been 4-0 or 2-2, but who’s counting? Heading into the regular season they have a few issues with injuries and depth. Losing two top rookies to knee injuries doesn’t help. But the standard is the standard and the Steelers must move on and focus on the regular season and the Denver Broncos.