The Pittsburgh Steelers activated linebacker James Harrison from the PUP list on Tuesday and all signs point to him being able to start practicing as soon as Monday. It is unknown how much work that the veteran linebacker will do initially, but his left knee will be monitored closely for any swelling as the week progresses.
As Gerry Dulac points out today via Twitter, should Harrison’s knee swell this time around when he he returns to practice next week, it will not be surprising if he doesn\’t play for a long time.
Harrison had a minor surgically procedure done on his knee two weeks ago, and while still unconfirmed, it was rumored to involve the removal of a bone spur from behind his knee cap. Harrison has not practiced since the Steelers first week of OTA practices because of the knee problem and he was mostly relegated to working inside with trainers during training camp and not on the side with the other players that were also on the PUP list during camp. Since the knee procedure was done, Dulac reports that Harrison has been running in a therapy pool with good results.
The former NFL defensive player of the year talked about his health on Tuesday. “I\’ll be all right,” said Harrison via Dulac. “It\’s feeling a lot better, actually.”
It is still unclear how much playing time, if any, that Harrison will get in the opener at Denver, and now that he has been removed from the PUP list, there is no turning back. The final roster cuts take place on Friday, before Harrison even takes the practice field, so he will be on the final 53 as he can\’t be placed back on the PUP list now that he has been removed.
Hopefully the knee responds well next week. If it doesn\’t, the Steelers will have a pretty big decision to make in regard what to do with him moving forward.