Smith returns to Steelers' patchwork line

Updated: October 15, 2003, 8:34 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Marvel Smith practiced Wednesday after missing two games and part of another due to a shoulder injury.

The return of Smith to left tackle might help eliminate the shuffling that plagued the offensive line in the Steelers' 17-14 loss to Denver.

Smith played just one series during the Steelers' current three-game losing streak.

Pittsburgh used 10 different line combinations, and quarterback Tommy Maddox was sacked seven times in the loss. The Steelers (2-4) were limited to 85 yards on 30 carries.

Coach Bill Cowher saw little stability in Smith's return, saying "anything and everything is possible at this point."

"We'll try to find the right combination," Cowher said. "That'll be done on a week-to-week basis, and if necessary maybe done on a series-to-series basis. You don't want to do that but certainly right now we need to get results and I think they all understand that."

The Steelers have a bye this week and next face the St. Louis Rams at home on Oct. 26.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index