We're three games into the 2010 season, and neither nose tackle Terrence Cody nor defensive end Paul Kruger has seen the field.
Part of that has to do with injuries - Cody is recently back from knee surgery while Kruger had a shoulder issue at the start of the season - but head coach John Harbaugh said today that part of it also just has to do with the numbers game.
"You only get 45 [active players on gamedays], and you only get five or six D-linemen," Harbaugh said today. "So, you've got to put the guys up that you think give you the best chance against the team you're playing.
"I'm sure that when Paul gets activated, he's going to play really well. And when Terrence gets activated, I know he'll play really well because you can see it in practice. We'll just have to see how the numbers shake out."
Fans might be itching to see Cody, a second-round pick this year, and Kruger, a second-round selection in 2009, in action. But because of the solid play of guys like Cory Redding and Brandon McKinney, the two second-rounders have been stuck on the sidelines on gamedays.
"That's part of it, you've got some guys playing well," Harbaugh said. "Brandon McKinney has played really well. You've got a group of defensive linemen who are playing well. But, then again, we might decide to put an extra D-lineman up too, so we'll just see how it goes."
Harbaugh said that Kruger has "been in there practicing well, fighting like crazy", while Cody "is getting healthier" and practiced well last week.
One of those guys could find their opening this week. As I mentioned earlier, Redding suffered a concussion yesterday, and if he's not able to play this Sunday, that could mean Cody or Kruger gets their first shot at playing time against the Steelers.