A fast and furious day as far as Steelers injury news goes concerning their linebacker unit as Ed Bouchette is now reporting that right outside linebacker James Harrison will play next Sunday night against the the Baltimore Ravens baring a setback. Harrison has missed the last four games after fracturing his right orbital bone against the Texans back in week 4. Harrison had surgery the following Wednesday and head coach Mike Tomlin speculated at the time that Harrison would miss a month at that time.
Bouchette talked to Bill Parise, Harrison\’s agent, and was told that Harrison\’s eye improved tremendously late last week and that Harrison was wanting to play Sunday against the Patriots. Parise told Bouchette that baring a setback between now and the game, Harrison will play. Should Harrison indeed play he will likely play with a dark visor to help him with light sensitivity in the eye.
The Steelers could use a healthy Harrison as his return would allow Lawrence Timmons to move back inside to his best position alongside Larry Foote or flip over to the other outside spot should LaMarr Woodely be forced to miss the game with a hamstring injury. Foote will likely start again at the MACK inside position with veteran James Farrior likely to remain sidelined with a torn calf muscle. Stevenson Sylvester made his first career start alongside Foote Sunday with Farrior being inactive and would likely start there again if Woodley is ruled out.
Woodley said after the game yesterday that he intends to play next week, but hamstring injuries can be tricky. Tomlin is expected to update the status of all injured players during his regular Tuesday press conference tomorrow.
UPDATE: Harrison reported via Facebook that he has been cleared by doctors to return to practice, but will not play Sunday despite the report from his agent above. Harrison says it looks like he will most like return after the bye.
Harrison told Josina Anderson of ESPN: “What it comes down to is, it\’s all about healing time. Once it gets to a level where there isn\’t a chance of infection they will clear me to play. Each week I\’m hoping I will be able to play, but it is all about what the doctors say.”