The Steelers have a health issue at tight end where Heath Miller, Roethlisberger's most reliable target, is coming off a torn anterior cruciate ligament and other ligament damage from eight months ago and could miss some games.

Last season, Miller was invaluable with 71 receptions and eight touchdowns.

The Steelers felt good enough about Miller's progress that he's no longer on the physically unable to perform list, meaning he could potentially return within the first six weeks of the regular season.

Miller is making progress, but he's not ready yet.

"It's the next step in the process," Miller told reporters. "I'm getting closer and closer to being where I want to be, so that's a good thing. I can be more part of the team."

Cousins gets a chance in Cleveland

The Browns could be in trouble at right offensive guard, forced to go with former Ravens offensive guard Oniel Cousins due to injuries to Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao.

Pinkston was placed on injured reserve-designated to return this week with an ankle injury, meaning he's out for at least the first eight games.

Cousins is a former Ravens fifth-round draft pick who was known more for practice brawling than blocking skills when he was in Baltimore.

Although Cousins is a legitimate tough guy and fairly experienced with 44 games and five starts, his rawness hurt his prospects in Baltimore.

Browns coach Rob Chudzinski sees signs of progress, though, since shifting Cousins inside from offensive tackle.

"I have been pleased with how quickly he has made the transition," Chudzinski said recently. "It's not been perfect by any means, and he is still working and still needs to continue to work, but it has been relatively smooth. I feel better about the situation with Oniel and what he has done and what he has shown what he can do."

awilson@baltsun.com

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