AFC North: Injuries plaguing Steelers and Browns entering Week 1

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Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers fullback Will Johnson (46) runs with the ball during the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports


The Pittsburgh Steelers want to reestablish their power-running game this year, and in order to do so, they’ll need a power-blocking fullback to lead the way for whoever is toting the rock in a crowded backfield.

They’ll need a healthy fullback to do that thought, and it appears as though they’ll have one on Sunday, as Will Johnson is probable for the Steelers’ season opener on Sunday vs the Tennessee Titans. This, despite being limited in practice this week by a hamstring injury. Johnson, who got hurt in the Steelers’ final preseason game, is a solid lead blocker who also has some pass-catching skills.

The Steelers only have three healthy tight ends on their roster heading in the season opener and it is possible all three, David Paulson, David Johnson and Michael Palmer, could receive a few snaps at fullback Sunday if Johnson is limited or unable to go.

Heath Miller still working his way back from reconstructive knee surgery and Matt Spaeth on the short-term injured reserve list. Miller isn’t expected to return to action until towards the end of September at the earliest.


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