Parker Should Be Back for Bengals Game

Pittsburgh's bye week came at the right time, as it gave several Steelers a chance to get healthy. Ben Roethlisberger's sore shoulder has had an extra week to improve, while Brett Keisel looks ready to return.

But the Steelers may be happiest to know that tailback Willie Parker is expected to play on Sunday after missing the last two games with a knee injury. Parker practiced on Monday and should be close to full speed when he faces a pretty mediocre Bengals defense.

The Steelers did a good job of turning the problem of Parker's injury into an opportunity--even as Rashard Mendenhall was lost for the season, the absence of Parker gave Mewelde Moore a chance to show that he deserves to get more playing time. He likely wouldn't have gotten that chance if Parker had been healthy, but now he gives Pittsburgh a solid backup for Parker, and will hopefully induce Bruce Arians to use him more in his traditional third-down role.

Moore looked good enough against the Jaguars that some fans believed he should be eating into Willie's carries. I won't go that far, but even though they are similarly sized, Moore and Parker have different styles--Parker's a slasher while Moore is niftier. So it should work to the Steelers benefit to get Moore some consistent playing time.

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