Steelers suspend Alameda Ta'amu

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to turn around their season without any help from rookie nose tackle Alameda Ta'amu.

The team suspended Ta'amu two games without pay on Tuesday following his arrest over the weekend following a late-night run-in with police. The fourth-round draft pick faces three felony counts -- fleeing police, aggravated assault and aggravated assault by vehicle -- among a dozen other charges.

Calling Ta'amu's behavior a "detriment to our efforts," coach Mike Tomlin said Ta'amu is barred from the team's facility and will not be paid during the suspension, which could be lifted before the Steelers (2-3) play the New York Giants Nov. 5. Ta'amu will have a preliminary hearing on the matter next Monday.

"We thought it was very important that we act and act quickly in addressing this," Tomlin said. "Obviously it's a disturbing incident, one we take very seriously."

Tomlin declined to expand how the team reached the suspension length or who was involved in the process, saying only "we intend to do what's right, that's always our No. 1 charge."

Tomlin also updated the injury status of several key players, including star safety Troy Polamalu and starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert.

Tomlin ruled safety Polamalu (calf), Gilbert (ankle) and backup linebacker Chris Carter (hamstring) out for the game against the Bengals.

Tomlin said Gilbert saw a foot specialist on Monday, and it was determined that he won't need surgery.

"He has a tendon injury in his ankle," Tomlin said, according to the team's website. "It does not require surgery. He is week to week. He will be out this week. But it was a positive meeting in that the injury does not require surgery."

Rookie Mike Adams will make his first NFL start in Gilbert's place.

In addition, center Maurkice Pouncey (knee) and running backs Rashard Mendenhall (Achilles) and Isaac Redman (ankle) were described as questionable for the game.

Mendenhall strained his right Achilles tendon in last Thurday's loss at Tennessee, an injury Mendenhall said is partially related to the torn ACL he suffered in his right knee on New Year's Day. Redman is undergoing treatment for a balky ankle that cut short a breakout game. Redman became the first Pittsburgh running back in more than 40 years to have more than 100 yards receiving when he caught four passes for 105 yards.

If neither player can go, it leaves second-year Baron Batch and rookie Chris Rainey to do most of the work. Batch scored his first NFL touchdown in the fourth quarter against Tennessee and Rainey has been erratic.


The Steelers bolstered their depth along the offensive line by signing Jacques McClendon to the practice squad. McClendon is a former fourth-round draft pick by the Detroit Lions. The team also signed defensive end Corbin Bryant, who played one game for the Steelers in 2011 and spent the remainder of the season on the practice squad. To make room for McClendon on the practice squad, the Steelers released TE Jamie McCoy.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.