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Steelers' Starks has neck injury, expected to go in IR

The Pittsburgh Steelers expect to place starting left tackle Max Starks on injured reserve Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Starks suffered a significant neck injury during Monday night's 27-21 victory at Cincinnati. The injury is not career-threatening, but it is serious enough to end his season.

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Starks, in his seventh year with the Steelers, consulted with doctors Tuesday to see if the injury required surgery or would heal with physical therapy, the *Pittsburgh Post-Gazette* reported, citing a source close to the player.

Starks left Monday's game, returned to the field, then left for good during the second half, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin termed Starks' injury "stingers" during his news conference Tuesday.

An MRI exam later Tuesday indicated the injury was more serious -- a disc injury in the upper vertebrae or neck area, the Post-Gazette reported.

Starks, who played collegiately at Florida, has started at left tackle the past three seasons and was starting right tackle for two seasons before that.

The Steelers lost starting right tackle, Willie Colon, for the season during the preseason.

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