Playoff-bound Steelers bolster banged-up offensive line

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers promoted offensive lineman Jonathan Parquet from their practice squad Wednesday and signed rookie offensive lineman Jason Capizzi for the second time.

The Steelers made the moves after losing starting tackles Marvel Smith and Max Starks to injuries in the last three weeks. Smith needed back surgery and Starks, who had replaced Smith at left tackle, tore the meniscus in a knee during a 27-21 loss Sunday in Baltimore.

Starks and special teams captain Clint Kriewaldt (neck) were placed on the injured reserve list, officially ending their seasons.

With two of their top three tackles out, the Steelers will play third-teamer Trai Essex at left tackle in their AFC wild-card game Saturday night against Jacksonville. Or they will shift Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca to tackle and start Chris Kemoeatu at left guard.

Parquet, a seventh-round pick by Kansas City in 2005, spent time with the Rams the last two seasons. Capizzi, an undrafted rookie from Indiana (Pa.) University, was cut by Pittsburgh during training camp. He was on the practice squads of the Buccaneers, Jets and Chiefs during the regular season.

The Steelers also added wide receiver Jeremy Bloom to their practice squad. Bloom, a former Olympic skier and Colorado receiver and return specialist, was cut by the Eagles following training camp.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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