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Former Football: Ex-Cajun Taylor suffers broken arm

Will Graves, The Advertiser, September 22, 2014


Steelers Panthers Foo_Foot.jpg

Steelers’ cornerback Ike Taylor (24) tackles Carolina’s Kelvin Benjamin on Sunday. (Photo: Associated Press)



Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor have been playing alongside each other for a dozen years, a union even longer than Polamalu’s marriage.

Fate dealt the cornerstones of the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary an unwanted separation.

Taylor underwent surgery Monday to repair the right forearm he broke in the third quarter of Sunday night’s 37-19 win over Carolina, the most serious of a handful of injuries that tempered some of the joy of a dominant performance.

Taylor’s injury makes it the third former UL Ragin’ Cajun cornerback to suffer a major injury this season. Detroit’s Bill Bentley suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season. Chicago’s Charles Tillman suffered a torn triceps and is on season-ending injured reserve.

“I’m deeply affected by it,” Polamalu said of Taylor’s injury. “But he’s tough and I know he’ll be back.”

Just not anytime soon.

“It’s a shock because Ike never gets hurt,” cornerback Cortez Allen said. “He’s the most durable guy I know.”

One of grittiest too. While some of Taylor’s teammates dropped to a knee upon seeing his arm dangling after a freak collision with Timmons while the two tried to complete a tackle, Taylor turned to the sideline and told nickelback William Gay to get ready.

“He gave us that look when he left the field, like, ‘You all better win this game, because I broke my arm for you,’” Gay said.

The Steelers (2-1) also lost linebackers Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones in the third quarter. Shazier sprained the MCL in his right knee when linebacker Lawrence Timmons accidentally collided with the rookie at the end of a play. Jones went to the locker room with a busted wrist moments after causing a fumble by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton that swung the momentum permanently in Pittsburgh’s favor.

Shazier spent Monday walking around with his right leg in a brace, while Jones had his wrist evaluated. Neither injury is expected to be season ending. Taylor’s situation is far more precarious, a stunning development for a player who has missed just seven games since 2003.

Shazier will return. So will Jones. Taylor’s outlook is cloudier. The 34-year-old took a significant pay cut to come back for a 12th season. He’d already ceded his role as the team’s shutdown corner to Allen this fall. Replacing Taylor’s onfield leadership, however, is another matter.

“It’s a big void that has to be filled,” Allen said.