|The Steelers could be without RT Willie Colon for the rest of the season. (Getty Images)|
If there was a bright spot for the Steelers following their Week 1 whupping at the hands of the Ravens, it was that they emerged from the game embarrassed but injury free. A day later, they couldn't even manage that; according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, right tackle Willie Colon could be done for the year.
"Steelers Willie Colon has torn triceps, will have surgery Tuesday, per agent Joe Linta to PG. Likely to go on IR," Bouchette tweeted Monday. "Willie is obviously devastated," Linta added. "But he vows to be back and give the Steelers more good years."
It's amazing how quickly perceptions can change. Two days ago, coming off a spiffy preseason, the Steelers looked like one of the best teams in the league. After a 35-7 drubbing that including seven turnovers against the Ravens, they suddenly look old, vulnerable and middle-of-the-pack. And now it appears that they've lost their starting right tackle, who also missed the 2010 season with an Achilles injury.
Colon entered the offseason as a free agent and there was speculation that he wouldn't return to Pittsburgh. But the team ended up signing him to a five-year, $29 million deal.
As for what this means going forward, well, not much. The Steelers' offensive line has long been a weak link, and losing Colon, while clearly bad news, doesn't automatically doom their playoff hopes. The front office has several options: they can move rookie second-rounder Marcus Gilbert to right tackle (he played there and on the left side during the preseason), give the job to veteran Trai Essex, or get Flozell Adams, who manned the position capably last season, on the horn and gauge his interest in returning to Pittsburgh.
It's not exactly the start the Steelers were looking for, but they're also quite familiar with winning football games with an o-line held together by duct tape. The biggest issue will be if Ben Roethlisberger can withstand the weekly beatings coming his way.
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