Steelers’ Lloyd Out, but How Long?
PITTSBURGH (AP) _ The Pittsburgh Steelers waited half the season for Greg Lloyd to play like Greg Lloyd. Now, with the most critical stretch of the season upcoming, they need Donta Jones to do it.
The Steelers (8-4) learned Wednesday that Lloyd, their five-time Pro Bowl linebacker, will miss Sunday’s game at Arizona (3-9) with a sprained and infected ankle. He will be re-evaluated next week and could be out longer.
Lloyd was hurt in the second quarter of the Steelers’ 23-20 loss Sunday in Philadelphia, but returned to play most of the game. The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain, but further tests revealed an infection that required hospital treatment.
The injury came just as Lloyd was finally beginning to play like he did in 1995, when he helped lead the NFL’s top-ranked defense to the Super Bowl with 6 1/2 sacks and a league-leading six forced fumbles. He has a sack in each of his last three games, and he had five tackles, a sack and a forced fumble two weeks ago against Cincinnati.
Lloyd’s job was up for grabs last season after he tore a knee ligament in the season opener. Jones might have moved into the lineup then, except he was out with a sprained knee that had sidelined since early in training camp.
He returned to play mostly on special teams, making 23 tackles. He also had 12 tackles in two late-season starts in place of the injured Chad Brown, who had shifted from inside linebacker into Lloyd’s position.
``When you get hurt like that, it’s a tough break but you just look back at it and try to work harder and wait for the opportunity to present itself again,″ said Jones, 25.