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Mike Wallace likely to have his typical Steelers role

We learned this week that Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace had been demoted to "co-starter" status with Emmanuel Sanders, according to coach Mike Tomlin.

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This murky designation led to talk that the slumping Wallace would lose playing time, though that's not necessarily going to be the case. NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala reported this week that Wallace likely will remain an active part of the Steelers' game plan when they meet the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The protocol in the receivers' meeting room is no different, and Wallace has had the same practice reps on the field. According to Kinkhabwala, no one really believes Wallace will play any less than he usually does.

This sounds more like a motivation ploy by Tomlin, who has watched his big-play threat turn into a glorified possession receiver this season. Wallace said the "co-starter" designation doesn't push him.

With quarterback Ben Roethlisberger down with rib and shoulder injuries and the Steelers riding a two-game losing streak, Wallace's big-play ability is needed more than ever. If he remains off the radar, how inclined will Pittsburgh be to bring him back in 2013?

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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