Running back Jerome Bettis will miss the next two weeks of action with a calf injury, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
With Bettis and Duce Staley sidelined, second-year running back Willie Parker will start the season-opener Spet. 11 against the Tennessee Titans.

Bettis had an MRI Saturday, but the results were inconclusive because Bettis had too much blood in his calf. Another MRI could be in Bettis' future in the coming week.

"I'm ready for whatever," Parker told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Saturday. "I'm ready for what the NFL brings, I'm ready for what the defense brings and I'll just go out there and play my game."

Bettis, the No. 5 rusher in NFL history, injured his calf while making a cut on a play-action fake in the first quarter of the Steelers' 17-10 preseason loss Friday at Washington.

Staley had knee surgery a week after training camp started and has not practiced since. The team has not officially announced when he will return, but he is not expected back until sometime after the Tennessee game.

The Steelers' situation at running back is so dire that Parker might not play against the Panthers.

"You might not see him again until Tennessee," Cowher said of Parker -- meaning the team isn't likely to risk playing him against Carolina with Staley and Bettis hurt. Parker gained 51 yards on his only carry against Washington.

Parker ran for 102 yards on 19 carries in his only NFL start as a rookie last season, a Jan. 2 game at Buffalo that was meaningless to the Steelers but knocked the Bills out of the playoffs.