Slowly but surely, the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerbacks are returning to the field one by one. Monday night against the Washington Redskins, third-year cornerback Curtis Brown figures to make his preseason debut, but it\'s looking like rookie Terry Hawthorne might come down to a game-time decision.
Hawthorne, the Steelers fifth-round draft pick back in April, was finally able to resume practicing this past week, but still has a noticeable limp, according to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
During his Saturday press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin refused to rule any players out for the Monday night game and would only say that all healthy players would play. It\'s obvious that Cortez Allen won\'t play, but it\'s not like he is fighting for a roster spot. Hawthorne, on the other hand, is.
Hawthorne needed surgery early in the offseason to remove bone chips in one of his knees, so the amount of practice that he\'s missed since being drafted is overwhelming. At this point, he needs to get back on the field and show he can be a prime contributor on special teams in order to crack the 53 man roster. If he can\'t do that, he undoubtedly will be looking for a spot on the practice squad, which is far from guaranteed right now.
Hawthorne\'s nickname is The Black Cat, and that cat will be short one less life if he isn\'t able to play Monday night in Washington.