Steelers right outside linebacker James Harrison will miss his third straight game this week against the Arizona Cardinals, but he said tonight on Twitter that his eye is healing up fine and that he hopefully will be back soon.
Harrison fractured the orbital bone in his right eye against the Texans in week 4 when blocked by Texans tackle Duane Brown. Harrison left the game for several plays with blurred vision, but ended up returning to the game later. Harrison had surgery two weeks ago yesterday and the prognosis was he could miss 4-6 weeks. Mike Tomlin did not rule out him returning to action earlier than that though.
The down time has also given Harrison time to get his back better as well and I asked him about it tonight on Twitter. He replied, “the back is doing a lot better, I guess my eye injury has helped my back out!” Harrison had two back procedures during the offseason. The first was to remove part of a herniated disk in his lower back and the second was a follow up procedure to clean up the first one.
Inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons has started in the place of Harrison the last two weeks and there is an outside chance that second year linebacker Jason Worilds could start outside this week instead, as he fights back from a quad injury. Worilds practiced fully on Wednesday and is not on the injury report. Timmons would move back inside if that were to happen.
Harrison and his back side pass rushing abilities are sorely missed as the Steelers only have forced two turnovers thus far this season, one of which was forced by Harrison back in week 3 against the Colts on a sack fumble. A return next week against the Patriots might be pushing it, but we can keep our fingers crossed he will be back in the starting lineup week 9 against the Ravens.