Ed Bouchette, blogger extraordinaire, checks in again from Latrobe:
- The Steelers replaced their injured starting left guard with a tackle on the first day of practice. Trai Essex, who has filled in at left and right tackle in games for injured players over the past three years with the Steelers, got a chance to run with the first team at guard in both practices today.
Chris Kemoeatu, who is replacing departed Alan Faneca at the position, opened camp on the PUP list because of a slight weakness in a triceps.
“Trai stepped up,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “He came in in excellent shape. He’s a veteran player, came in great shape, ran well, an opportunity presented itself to give him some reps with the first unit at left guard. I thought he took advantage of it . . . I threw a bone to a man who came in in great shape and ran well.” -- E.B.
- Three players could not finish the afternoon practice because of injuries that occurred. Safety Anthony Smith and cornerback Bryant McFadden have groin injuries. Tomlin described their status as “day to day.’’ Rookie wide receiver Kevin Marion has a sprained knee that requires further evaluation. -- E.B.