An injured shoulder will force Pittsburgh running back Willie Parker to miss his fifth game of the past six Sunday as the Steelers play the Indianapolis Colts, and there are questions about when he will play again.
According to NFL.com, Parker was told this week he has a torn labrum in his shoulder that will require offseason surgery.
Parker denied the NFL.com report on Sunday and told ESPN's Bob Holtzman no one has told him he has a torn labrum. Parker said the first he heard of the report was when he got a call from his agent Sunday morning. Parker said his body is "beat up" but does not expect to be out for the season and hopes to play next week.
Parker returned from a four-game layoff after spraining his knee to rush for 71 yards against the Washington Redskins on Monday night but injured the shoulder on a fluke play and did not practice this week.
NFL.com reported that Parker spent Friday getting a second opinion.
Najeh Davenport was released Saturday, five weeks after they brought back their former top backup running back following a number of injuries.
Davenport's roster spot was taken by linebacker Donovan Woods, who was taken off the 53-man roster last month but was added to the practice squad. Woods has played on special teams in four games this season.
Davenport, a former Packers player, spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons with Pittsburgh but was released in June. He was re-signed last month after Parker injured a knee, first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall was lost for the season with a shoulder injury and fullback Carey Davis sprained an ankle.
In two-plus seasons with Pittsburgh, Davenport ran for 768 yards, seven touchdowns and a 4.3 yards per carry average. He also had three touchdowns on pass receptions.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.