PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' 26-23 loss to the Tennessee Titans was hardly the end of Pittsburgh's troubles over the weekend. Rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu was arrested early Sunday morning following a chaotic run-in with police that ended with Ta'amu facing more than a dozen charges, including three felony counts.
The fourth-round pick out of Washington apologized to his teammates on Monday but was not available to the media. Ta'amu was tabbed as the eventual successor to Casey Hampton whenever Hampton retires but has yet to dress this season. Hampton, who has taken on a mentor role with Ta'amu, doesn't think the arrest will be a distraction and is more concerned about Ta'amu's future.
"We still love him, but the guy made a mistake," Hampton said. "Not taking away from what he did, because it was a terrible thing. So, you definitely can't do that, but any time you make a mistake, you've got to ride this out and see what happens."
General manager Kevin Colbert said Sunday the team would gather facts before making any sort of decision, though the team has a pressing need for depth along the offensive line and the only way to make room on the roster would be to cut at least one player.
The Steelers have shown little patience lately with players who have run into trouble, cutting second-year tight end Weslye Saunders last Friday just four days after he finished serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
Either way, Ta'amu is unlikely to make any impact on the team this year, leaving it to the other 52 guys on the roster to get it together.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press