The Steelers found out today that they would lose the services of their left tackle Max Starks for the rest of the season. Max sustained a double whammy against the Bengals when he got a jolt of lightning down both arms. I talked to Max in the post-game Cincy locker room. He was concerned then, but i really thought he’d be okay.
For those who have never had the privilege of “getting a stinger,” it’s a pinched nerve in the neck that compresses the disc and sends a high voltage burning sensation down the arm which feels like a hot poker taken from a roaring fire and shoved down the inside of the arm. Tunch Ilkin used to say i looked like Joe Cocker in concert having a seizure while i writhed in the huddle after getting one.
The burning sensation continues until it abates and then the outside of your arm feels singed, like you were sitting too close to that aforementioned fire. If it was bad enough, there was a noticeable weakness remaining in your arm, which could cause problems on the next play. Like falling over in your three-point stance because your arm was that weak.
The bottom line is that they are nothing to sneeze at. Back in the day, nobody realized that they could do severe damage to you. You simply let them burn through, get some traction on your neck during the week to stretch out those neck discs, and ice it to reduce the inflamation. End of story, until the next one.
Max got it down both arms. It had to feel like he was getting tasered.
The Steelers activated Chris Scott, a promising rookie who has done very little thus far, but he’s got a chance to show what he’s capable of. Not on the game field, but the practice field on the southside facility. The heavy lifting falls to Jonathan Scott who has served as the swing tackle and Tony Hills gets a chance to show he can step up as the swing guy.
If Jonathan can’t get it done (tape evidence so far says he can) then Tony Hills or Trai Essex would be my choice. Trai last because he would start a mini-cascade of movement among starters that i always decline to go that route if able. Of course, that would also be assuming Chris Kemoeatu is good to go.
The road to the Super Bowl just got harder. Again.