Hampton and Starks should return for Steelers

Posted Sept. 20, 2010 @ 10:52 a.m.
Posted By PFW staff

They may not know who will be under center when they take the field in Tampa in Week Three, but the Steelers will have two other opening day starters back in the battle of 2-0 teams vs. the Bucs. NT Casey Hampton and OLT Max Starks, both injured in the team's Week One win, will return after missing yesterday's 19-11 victory over the Titans.

Hampton, a five-time Pro Bowler, tweaked his hamstring on opening day and missed all of practice last week. The Pittsburgh run defense didn't seem to notice his absence, as they held Chris Johnson to 34 yards on 16 carries (2.1 yards/rush), the All-Pro RB's lowest average since November 2008.

Starks, who missed the game with an ankle injury, was clearly missed. Steelers QBs Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch were sacked two times each, with Dixon leaving in the game after suffering a knee injury.

Both players should return to the starting lineup vs. the Buccaneers.

The way we see it

Hampton and Starks have been mainstays on the Steelers' offensive and defensive lines for years, and their return strengthens those units. Now head coach Mike Tomlin has to figure out if Dixon can return, or if Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich is the answer at quarterback.