Monday, October 17, 2011

See you in Arizona, Troy

The last time Troy Polamalu played against the Cardinals, he was damn near invisible.

The Steelers play the Cardinals for the first time since Super Bowl XLIII Sunday. Thankfully, Polamalu will be visible. And in uniform.

I hate myself for saying this, but I was actually relieved to hear that the reason Polamalu was taken out of Sunday's game was "concussion-like symptoms." It's the knee, ankle, Achilles, ACL, calf, heel and toe jam you have to worry about with Polamalu.

If Polamalu actually had a concussion, at worst he'd be out for a game. But injuries to anything sheathed in those yellow uniform pants (or at least those parts not also covered by underwear) are like a nail to the Steelers' tires. Two years ago, Polamalu's injuries took the air out of the Steelers' season. He didn't miss nearly as much time last season, but had he been healthier, the Steelers probably would have raised their seventh Lombardi Trophy.

Not to minimize concussions. Polamalu has had them before. It's sad to think that a respected and likeable player like Polamalu is vulnerable to dementia and depression in 20 years or so.  

The concussion scare Sunday came when Polamalu torpedoed Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew on third-and-1 from the Jacksonville 30-yard line. The play forced the Jaguars to punt trailing 17-10 with less than nine minutes left in the game.

I thought the impact came when idiot Ryan Clark knocked helmets with Polamalu to celebrate the play. It wouldn't have been the first time Clark hurt a teammate. During last year's AFC divisional playoff game against the Ravens, he tried to hit a Ravens receiver but instead hit Ike Taylor. Fortunately, Taylor wasn't badly hurt.

It turns out the impact came when Polamalu's helmet appeared to hit the piston-like leg of the 5-foot-7, 208-pound Drew.

So it wasn't Clark's fault. Still, he needs to be more careful with his teammates.

While scouring the Internet Sunday looking for information about Polamalu's condition, it looked like there was something on, but it was about Polamalu possibly being fined by the NFL for talking on his cell phone during the game. C'mon. Really?

If anyone should fine Polamalu for that, it's the Steelers. He's got a possible concussion and he's letting cell phone radiation seep into his head?

While he was sitting there on the phone, it looked like for the third year in a row a Steelers' season would be compromised by a Polamalu injury.

Fortunately, that's not the case. Not yet, anyway.

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