Shamarko Thomas ruled out for Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- The Steelers will be without rookie safety Shamarko Thomas on Sunday when they try to neutralize one of the top passing attacks in the NFL.

Thomas has been ruled out for the Steelers' 1 p.m. ET game against the Detroit Lions after sustaining a high-ankle sprain in a 23-10 win against the Bills.

Thomas has played extensively this season, and most of his snaps have come in the Steelers’ quarter package.

That defense has three cornerbacks and three safeties on the field at the same time, and it is a package that Steelers could use frequently as they try to match up with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

The Lions are third in the NFL in passing offense (306.9 yards per game), and coach Mike Tomlin said Johnson is one of the best players in the NFL regardless of position.

A handful of Steelers players could be limited in practice this week including left guard Ramon Foster (ankle), defensive end Brett Keisel (foot), outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (calf) and center Fernando Velasco (knee).

“Most of those guys are in the building getting treatment,” Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “I’m not going to count them out even for tomorrow.”

Tomlin said he is pleased with how right guard David DeCastro and right tackle Marcus Gilbert have progressed with their respective ankle injuries.

The seventh-year coach did not have an update on when tight end Matt Spaeth will start practicing again. Spaeth is on the short-term injured reserve list with a Lisfranc sprain.