The Steelers have placed starting offensive guard Willie Colon on injured reserve, the team announced. During Pittsburgh's 34-24 loss to the Chargers on Sunday, Colon returned after a three-game absence, but re-aggravated a knee injury that he suffered earlier in the season.
This marks the third straight season that will end on IR for the seven-year veteran. He missed all of 2010 with a torn Achilles tendon and played just one game in 2011 after tearing his triceps.
Colon, in the second year of a five-year, $29-million contract, moved to guard this season after spending the rest of his career as a tackle. First-round pick David DeCastro will likely start in his place in Sunday's pivotal game against the 8-6 Bengals, who are one game ahead of the 7-6 Steelers in the wild card standings.
Top cornerback Ike Taylor will also miss this week's game. Moving Colon to IR opened up a roster spot for running back Rashard Mendenhall, who was suspended for one week for failing to show up the team's Week 14 game after being listed as inactive.