It\’s not looking too good that linebacker James Harrison will play Sunday in the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday game against the New York Jets and it also seems as if the left calf injury that safety Troy Polamalu suffered Sunday might be serious enough to keep him out of the Jets game as well.
Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was asked about what Harrison means to the defense on Thursday and he might have volunteered too much information in regard to the status of both players for this week with his answer.
“Well, James (Harrison) is a Player of the Year a few years ago, so you know he\’s a great player,” said LeBeau. “But we\’ve played without him, and Troy (Polamalu) has won the Most Valuable Player Award and we\’ve played without him. Our guys know what\’s required of them, they have to step up and fill the vacancy and push on. We miss those guys, but we\’ll be happy when we get them back, but it should never be a factor in who wins the game.”
LeBeau was later asked specifically if there is a concern that Polamalu could miss the game Sunday. “I don\’t know the answer to that,” said LeBeau. “Coach Tomlin and the training staff would have to answer that, but we\’ve been through these types of injuries with Troy. Sometimes he makes it, sometimes he doesn\’t.”
“We have to be prepared for whatever eventuality. I don\’t think it\’s a real serious thing, I think it will be a short time injury, but I suppose that anybody that\’s not practicing, you better get ready for them not to play.”
Both Harrison and Polamalu sat out practice again on Thursday and even though Harrison told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that he would play this week, it is more than likely now that he won\’t.
Head coach Mike Tomlin did not sound too concerned about Polamalu during his Tuesday press conference, but did say that the safety would be limited at the first part of the week. Friday now becomes a big day for him, but perhaps LeBeau already knows that he will be down this week. At least that is the way he made it sound with his answers Thursday.
If Polamalu is indeed ruled out this week, Ryan Mundy would start alongside Ryan Clark, who was forced to miss the week 1 game against the Denver Broncos due to his sickle cell trait.