James Harrison Says Eye & Back Are Doing Better – Hopes To Return Soon

Steelers right outside linebacker James Harrison will miss his third straight game this week against the Arizona Cardinals, but he said tonight on Twitter that his eye is healing up fine and that he hopefully will be back soon.

Harrison fractured the orbital bone in his right eye against the Texans in week 4 when blocked by Texans tackle Duane Brown. Harrison left the game for several plays with blurred vision, but ended up returning to the game later. Harrison had surgery two weeks ago yesterday and the prognosis was he could miss 4-6 weeks. Mike Tomlin did not rule out him returning to action earlier than that though.

The down time has also given Harrison time to get his back better as well and I asked him about it tonight on Twitter. He replied, “the back is doing a lot better, I guess my eye injury has helped my back out!” Harrison had two back procedures during the offseason. The first was to remove part of a herniated disk in his lower back and the second was a follow up procedure to clean up the first one.

Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons has started in the place of Harrison the last two weeks and there is an outside chance that second year linebacker Jason Worilds could start outside this week instead, as he fights back from a quad injury. Worilds practiced fully on Wednesday and is not on the injury report. Timmons would move back inside if that were to happen.

Harrison and his back side pass rushing abilities are sorely missed as the Steelers only have forced two turnovers thus far this season, one of which was forced by Harrison back in week 3 against the Colts on a sack fumble. A return next week against the Patriots might be pushing it, but we can keep our fingers crossed he will be back in the starting lineup week 9 against the Ravens.

  • Prestondthomas

    i would welcome Worilds into the starting line up Timmons has done a good job but were missing a good pass rush from that position i like Timmons but i honestly think he really belongs in a Tampa two style system

  • The eye injury could be a blessing in disguise. Harrison’s game is pure explosion and power. Coming into the season, he still wasn’t able to do heavy squats, and regain his power in his lower body. It’s unlikely that he would have been able to do the type of strength training it would take to regain his explosiveness. With the additional time off, he can load up the bar, and subject his body to the type of training that has made him the best LB in the NFL. I don’t know when Harrison will make his return, but when he does, someone’s gonna die (figuratively of course!).


    Enjoy your reporting. Thanks

  • Dgh57

    If Harrison is’nt back by the Patriots game we are in TROUBLE!! No pass rush on Brady and the PASS HAPPY Patriots will prove to be a long day for the Steelers D!!! Until proven otherwise Harrison’s backups don’t inspire much confidence in me!

  • Joel Miller

    He could be pretty exceptional there, but he is an ideal Steelers type ILB. Fast with great explosion…the OLB in the scheme is more of a faster rush end that is great at the point of attack. Why else would we draft so many smaller college DEs?

  • Tannekrinkevich

    You do realize that 4 weeks off while healing from a back injury as well is not the right situation nor amount of time to do some squats and completely strengthen your lower body as if it were a lengthy off season of training. Honestly have you ever lifted a weight?