Are Dolphins Ready For Winter?

Notebook items also include Ben vs. Miami, hyperbaric chambers, Matt Spaeth and more.

The Miami Dolphins have played two games in Pittsburgh in December, and each team has won once.

The Steelers won in 1988, 40-24, but lost in 1972, 21-17, in the AFC Championship Game, a week after the Immaculate Reception, to preserve what became the league's first and only 17-0 undefeated season.

The weather will be even worse today, though, as freezing rain will mesh with gusty winds and a predicted kickoff temperature of 26 degrees. It'll be Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill's first game in snow.

"I've heard it's not too bad," Tannehill told the Miami Herald. "It's actually nice to play in, from the guys in the locker room talking. Matt (Moore) played in the snow a few times I think and he said it's nice, it doesn't affect the ball."

But snow won't be the problem. The wind and ice will hinder the passing games for both sides.

"Well we practiced wet ball drill today so it's something that we're prepared for, if it comes to that," Tannehill said. "It's football, it's December football in Pittsburgh, and we have to be prepared for whatever comes at us."

BEN VS. MIAMI

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's first start was in a hurricane in Miami, and since that win he's guided the Steelers to three more and is 4-0 against the Dolphins with a 108.2 passer rating.

The last meeting between the teams at Heinz Field was also affected by weather, and the Steelers won 3-0 in the muck in 2007.

Overall, the Steelers have a five-game winning streak against the Dolphins, who overall are 3-7 (counting 1-1 playoffs) at Pittsburgh.

The series stands 13-11 Steelers, including postseason.

INJURY UPDATE

The Steelers will get LaMarr Woodley back today after a three-game absence due to a calf injury. But the Steelers will be without DE Brett Keisel, and probably LT Kelvin Beachum, who would be replaced by Mike Adams.

Adams, of course, lost his job to Beachum after the fourth game of the season. Since that time Adams has taken on the role of No. 2 TE and also filled in for the injured Beachum late against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving.

"Adversity, and how you handle it, is really the key thing," Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley said of Adams. "You can handle it in a couple of different ways. He's chosen to handle it in a positive manner and it's allowed him to work harder and get better, knowing that his opportunity would come up again. He took the opportunities that he's been given to this point, as far as being in there in some of the big-people packages where he was playing tight end, and he had to fill in when guys went down last week. He's done a positive job with it. He dealt with adversity in a positive way."

The Steelers might also be without NT Steve McLendon, who missed the last game with an ankle injury. He's listed as questionable.

The Dolphins have ruled rookie reserve CB Jamar Taylor and starting CB Dimitri Patterson as questionable. The Dolphins are tied for second in the NFL with 16 interceptions, and Patterson, who's only played five games with a groin injury, is tied with CB Brent Grimes for the team lead with four interceptions apiece.

The Dolphins also list backup RB Daniel Thomas as questionable with an ankle injury. One "nick" to watch in the cold weather: Tannehill is probable with a right thumb injury.

(HYPERBARIC) CHAMBER MUSIC

Only two of the Steelers' starting offensive linemen against the Ravens practiced this week, and one of those two, Marcus Gilbert, limped around the locker room with his right ankle taped.

That left Ramon Foster as the only truly healthy Steelers starting lineman, and he missed a game two weeks ago because of a sprained ankle.

"I'm good. Seriously," said Foster, the left guard. "I missed, but I've seen plenty of doctors, done hyperbaric chambers, and everything else like that. You have to be on top of it."

A hyperbaric chamber, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, is "a sealed chamber in which a high-pressure environment is used to treat ... tissue injuries and wounds that are difficult to heal."

Is it a mind game? Does it really work?

"It does," Foster said. "It's more than you think it is. It is amazing. I see why it costs so much. It's gooooood. I can tell you that, man. I wasn't a believer in it until this ankle thing. It really helped to rehab and to hurry it up."

STATS AND STUFF

Antonio Brown's 85 receptions give him 236 in his career, the most in the first four seasons by a Steelers receiver. Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace had 235. Brown has played 10 fewer games than did Holmes and 13 fewer than did Wallace. ... Heath Miller had 8 receptions for 86 yards last week and passed Elbie Nickel for the fifth-most receiving yards in franchise history and the most by a tight end (5,148). Lynn Swann is next at 5,462. ... Jason Worilds led the Steelers last week with 10 tackles, two sacks, one tackle-for-loss and three QB hurries. His six sacks this season have surpassed his career high of five in 2012. Worilds was also the first Steeler since Woodley (10-30-11 vs. NE) to register two sacks in the first half of a game.

SPAETH FINALLY READY

he Steelers have activated tight end Matt Spaeth from the Reserve/Injured; Designated to Return List.

Spaeth was placed on the list on September 3, 2013, after he suffered a foot injury during the preseason. To make room on the roster, the Steelers released tight end Richard Gordon. Gordon signed with Pittsburgh on October 15, 2013, and has been inactive for seven games, including two he missed due to injury.