Pittsburgh Steelers  

 

Simmons, Mendenhall suffer season-ending injuries

  • By Associated Press
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PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh linebacker Andre Frazier was carted off the field on a stretcher with a spine injury after the opening kickoff of the Steelers' 23-20 overtime victory over Baltimore on Monday night.

He was walking around the locker room and talking to players after the game, but two of his teammates sustained season-ending injuries in the game.

Rick Stewart / Getty Images
Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall fractured his left shoulder in his first career start.

Starting right guard Kendall Simmons tore his right Achilles and backup running back Rashard Mendenhall, starting in place of the injured Willie Parker, fractured his left shoulder. Both will be placed on injured reserve, according to coach Mike Tomlin.

"We have some injuries that we need to deal with, that is part of football and we will (deal with it)," Tomlin said. "Our standard of expectation will not change. We have to go to Jacksonville on a short week, such is life in the National Football League."

The Ravens lost staring running back Willis McGahee to a chest injury for most of the second half.

McGahee carried 12 times for 41 yards before getting hurt on a 1-yard gain late in the second quarter. McGahee is recovering from offseason arthroscopic knee surgery that limited him to 15 carries in Baltimore's first two games.

McGahee was twice forced to leave Baltimore's previous game against Cleveland because of eye injuries.

Mendenhall, making his first NFL start, left the field on a cart after injuring his shoulder on his first carry of the second half. Mendenhall, who had 30 yards on nine carries, was replaced by Carey Davis, a fullback who had only two carries coming into the game. Davis injured his ankle, meaning the Steelers were without their top three running backs.

Frazier was running down the field when he was blocked by Haruki Nakamura of the Ravens and went down to the turf. Both Frazier and Nakamura are former University of Cincinnati players.

Frazier was moving his legs and hands while trainers, as a precautionary move, removed his facemask before he was taken off the field.

This is Frazier's second stay with the Steelers after originally signing with them as a free agent in 2005. That season, he injured his right leg during the AFC championship game in Denver and missed the Super Bowl two weeks later. He also played briefly for the Bengals in 2006, but returned to the Steelers last year.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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