The bye week has been good to the 4-1 Steelers with word from Pittsburgh on Monday that running back Willie Parker (knee) and defensive end Brett Keisel (calf) and maybe nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) are going to be back for Sunday's 1 p.m. game against the Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.
All three missed last week's huge 26-21 win at Jacksonville without five starters because of injuries that included season-enders for guard Kendall Simmons and rookie running back Rashard Mendenhall.
Keisel missed the previous three and Parker, one of the more notorious Bengals killers, missed the last two. In the seven games Parker has carried the ball against the Bengals, he's averaging nearly 103 yards per game on 4.3 per carry.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have been more inactive at practice the week before the Jacksonville game than the Bengals' Carson Palmer was before the Dallas game as he nurses a separated shoulder.
Roethlisberger didn't work Wednesday and Thursday and on Friday held the ball in his left hand while simulating his throwing motion for the routes as they were run. Then he threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He didn't practice last week, but he could be rested enough to see work this Wednesday.
The Steelers may not rush Hampton back since the Jacksonville coaches raved about how they couldn't block his replacement, seventh-year man Chris Hoke, a 305-pounder who has 12 starts since he signed as a free agent in 2001 out of Brigham Young.
TRADE SCUTTLEBUTT: With the NFL trading deadline Tuesday, the buzz that Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh could be available won't go away. But if the Bengals have discussed it, they appear to have decided against it because the deadline is so close.
Some teams are reportedly interested but the Bengals look to be sticking with their two Pro Bowl receivers at 0-6. Houshmandzadeh, the club's all-time No. 3 receiver, said last week that he wouldn't be surprised if the Bengals don't sign him when he becomes a free agent next season.