Another Week Ahead Without Harrison, Polamalu & Mendenhall?

On Sunday the Pittsburgh Steelers moved to 1-1 on the young season with a 27-10 win over the New York Jets and they did so with out the services of linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu. Harrison of course has yet to suit up this season, while Polamalu missed the Sunday game with a strained left calf injury.

Up next for the Steelers is a trip out west take on the 0-2 Oakland Raiders, a team they should be able to handle without Harrison and Polamalu in the lineup. Keep in mind that the following week the Steelers have their bye week before facing the Philadelphia Eagles at home in Week 5.

While no team should be taken lightly, especially the Raiders, who managed to upset the Steelers back in 2009, rushing both Harrison and Polamalu back if not 100% healthy would be a bad decision. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau stated last week that the injury to Polamula should be a “short time” one, so his status will have to be watched closely starting with the injury report on Wednesday.

Harrison has yet to participate fully in a practice dating back to the first week of OTA\’s, so it goes without saying that two more weeks of rest could have him exactly where he needs to be when the Steelers host the Eagles.

Not to be forgotten is running back Rashard Mendenhall, who has been practicing fully for some time now since he was removed from the PUP list just prior to the start of the season. Like Harrison, two more weeks of down time will not hurt him. The same goes for linebacker Stevenson Sylvester as well, as he continues to rehab his torn MCL.

Head coach Mike Tomlin did not give an injury update during his post game press conference on Sunday, but overall the rest of the team appears to be healthy. The coach will likely give a vague update per his usual on Tuesday during his weekly press conference, so it will be a guessing game as to the status of all three of the players I mentioned in this post heading up to gametime in Oakland.

Don\’t be surprised if all three sit out on Sunday as the season has just begun and Tomlin usually is one to err on the side of caution, especially being as he has a bye week coming up to work with.

  • Brendon Glad

    I usually get very annoyed with that early bye…and it seems like the Steelers get it a lot…most likely because they are always such a threat so they want to get it out of the way for the networks…so no problem there…but this early bye could be a real blessing. I say put faith in Carson Palmer to be what he is…and hope that the 3 picks and 5 sacks that he’s usually good for can come to fruition with the 2 all-pros on the bench 2 more weeks

  • Mike.H

    nice post, even better mustache.

  • SteelSpine

    Well put, I agree w all that. Yep prefer bye week at mid-season or later than midseason to rest the bumps & bruises, because by then Ben etc will have broken bones. But I agree having Polamalu out injured now etc is huge. (Having Harrison out is huge too but one week of rest isnt gonna change Harrison’s situation).
    I wish Steelers staff will use this early week off to more-study the past weeks’ tapes to better-prepare our blocking for run game, it seems we’re still in preseason regarding lack of preparation there, & also study tapes to reduce the number of jail-breaks into Ben.

  • SteelSpine

    It was interesting & telling how LeBeau planned for Polamulu to be out, vs for when Clark was out the previous week: Mundy said:
    – For Clark not playing (Denver): Mundy played mostly center-field & the few times Polamolu played center field instead was only to keep the Broncos guessing on future plays (so Broncos hopefully wouldnt plan to throw downfield at Mundy) .
    – For Polamolu not playing (Jets): Clark played strong safety approx 50% of the plays (instead of Clark at fee-safety all plays).

    Interview with Clark after his first game back is worth watching for his great focus (I had assumed he was smart, but the interview at bottom of this article, which is a vid of interviewing Clark, is worthwhile, man he is sincere):

  • Intropy

    I’m not so sure Tomlin errs on the side of caution. How many times has an injured Ben Roethlisberger played late into games that are pretty much already decided?