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.