After previously indicating that this season would be his last, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison perhaps left the door open to playing in 2015 following his solid performance Sunday in the 20-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
According to reporters Aditi Kinkhabwala and Scott Brown after the game, Harrison, who recorded 1.5 sacks in addition to another tackle-for-loss Sunday against the Chiefs, “tried to pass buck” by saying his oldest son doesn’t want him to play past this season when he was asked about the possibility. At that point, Harrison’s son, who was apparently by his father’s side, reportedly shot back, “I didn’t say that!”
James Harrison asked if he's coming back next year. Tried to pass buck, say older son doesn't want him to. Son piped up "I didn't say that!"
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 21, 2014
James Harrison left some wiggle room as far as playing beyond this season. More on that later.
— Scott Brown (@ScottBrown_ESPN) December 21, 2014
Depending on what ultimately happens with soon-to-be unrestricted free agent linebacker Jason Worilds during the offseason, the Steelers might be in need of another starter next season opposite Jarvis Jones. Backup Arthur Moats will also be an unrestricted free agent come March, but odds are good right now that he will be re-signed.
If not for Jones getting injured earlier this season, Harrison would have more than likely stayed retired. While the 36-year-old veteran played like a 26-year-old Sunday against the Chiefs, he did miss the previous two games with a knee injury.
It’s fun to think about following the performance that Harrison put in Sunday, but at this point you’d have to think that Harrison will go back to being retired at the conclusion of the season. While it’s still a long shot to happen despite qualifying for the playoffs Sunday, maybe the Steelers can send him out in style with another Super Bowl ring.