Harrison's status remains up in air
James Harrison knows how badly the Steelers need him. These numbers tell him: Only five sacks in three games, only three turnovers forced.
The Steelers' consistently top-ranked defense hasn't been the same without its best pass rusher and havoc creator, and nobody is more frustrated than Harrison that he can't get on the field.
Harrison, a five-time Pro Bowl linebacker, went through a full practice Monday for only the third time since last season, but that's no guarantee he can play Sunday against the Eagles.
Harrison missed all of training camp with a left knee injury that required surgery in mid-August, and the knee has balked any time Harrison pushes it hard. He practiced last Tuesday, but his knee didn't respond, and he didn't even dress for practice Wednesday.
Until he gets through a full week of practice without his knee acting up, Harrison probably won't be able to play. He has missed eight games since last season due to injuries and a one-game suspension.
“It's just something you've got to deal with,” Harrison said. “The constant questions, of course, nags and irks you. So you get to a point where you've got to deal with it. And my way of dealing with it is (talking about his status only) on Fridays.”
Harrison even has the word “Fridays” written in big letters on the wall beside his locker.
Right now, the Steelers (1-2) would prefer to have Harrison on Sundays but, even if he isn't ready to go against the Eagles, they should get back safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee).
Polamalu missed the last two games with the same injury that bothered him late last season, but he took part in the last three practices. He deferred all questions about his status to coach Mike Tomlin, who won't speak to reporters until Tuesday.
Despite having the NFL's second-worst rushing offense, the Steelers have been careful not to rush Mendenhall, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during their final regular-season game in Cleveland. They held him out of training camp and he didn't return to practice until Sept. 3.
“They've told me it is the same course they have taken, one day a time,” Mendenhall said. “I've been improving every day. I am going to continue to work and prepare for the game, like I have every week.”
Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders living up to his word
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Play to watch: Colts, Luck like to confuse defenses
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Steelers’ Adams delivers in pinch against Texans
- Steelers free safety Mitchell is still settling into role on defense
- Steelers dial up 2-point play for Brown’s TD toss
- Steelers-Texans game changers: Bell’s 43-yard catch provides spark
- Rossi: Middling Steelers must make a statement
- Robinson: Big Ben on pace to break Favre’s record — for sacks
- Steelers use 3 late first-half TDs to stun Texans