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Harrison questionable with back spasms

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Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010
 

Add another Steelers starter to the list of players that may not play tonight against the visiting New England Patriots.

Outside linebacker James Harrison, who leads the Steelers with seven sacks, is experiencing back spasms and is questionable for the 8:20 p.m. game.

Harrison's back issues are a new -- and unwelcome -- development for the injury-plagued Steelers as the three-time Pro Bowler practiced all week. If Harrison in unable to play, the Steelers likely will move inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons to his spot and start Larry Foote alongside James Farrior.

Starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu (knee and ankle) and defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) are expected to miss the game because of injuries. The Steelers are also without starting left tackle Max Starks (neck) for the rest of the season.

Miller role adjusts

Heath Miller has had three or fewer catches in seven of his eight games this year and just 20 for the season ... and there is a good reason for it.

Miller has been used more as a blocker, especially lining in the backfield next to Ben Roethlisberger, due to the health of the offensive line.

Now, with Starks out for the year, Miller doesn't expect his role to change much.

"I'm sure I'll be used a little bit in all the phases of the game," he said. "I don't expect my role to change a whole lot."

Miller is on pace for only 40 catches or nearly half as many as last year's 76, the most ever for a Steelers tight end.

Expect no-huddle from Pats

Last week, the Bengals went no-huddle against the Steelers, and the Patriots will, too.

The Patriots have been successful running the no-huddle in recent weeks, and Tom Brady will look to use it to create matchup problems with the Steelers.

"It's been something that we've been decent at," Brady said. "We certainly haven't been great at it; we're still working. I always love being in no-huddle, because you can really get a good tempo going as an offense. You can really start getting a feel for the defense, the speed of what they're doing."

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