Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison is all set to make his season debut Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles and it seems as if he might have to cope with that left knee of his moving forward.
“Yeah, definitely I will be ready for Sunday,” said Harrison on Friday. “It felt good, especially on Monday. I was able to make it through the week without any problems. I was able to cope with what my knee was doing. I wasn’t reacting to it as much as I had before. I am just happy to be able to get back out there and contribute to help this team win.”
Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said on Thursday that the linebacker likely would be limited in his playing time on Sunday and Harrison echoed those same sentiments Friday after practice.
“I will play as much as my wind will allow me to play,” said Harrison. “Obviously, I haven’t really done anything since last postseason. I am going out there and seeing what happens. It’s really just my first game back. We will see.”
Harrison has already been told that Chris Carter will spell him in the first half as coaches want to make sure that Harrison is fresh for the fourth quarter.
“I have to come off,” Harrison said via the Post Gazette. “It\’s no need being out there, being dog-tired, and not be able to do what\’s necessary to play the position. You want to stay fresh. You don\’t want to go out there and play every snap in the first half and come out sluggish in the third and have nothing left in the fourth.”
Also according to a report by Gerry Dulac, LaMarr Woodley will also get some snaps off in addition as Jason Worilds is expected to spell him against the Eagles in an effort to keep him fresh for the fourth quarter as well.
While Harrison appears to now be back, it seems that the knee still might have a minor issue and the linebacker has found a better way to cope with it according to his quotes. It will not be unusual to see Harrison show up every so often on a Wednesday injury report moving forward as he is certain to get a day off every now and again.
Sunday will be his first game action since the loss in the AFC Wild Card game last January and hopefully the knee responds well to all of the action.