It’s bad enough the Pittsburgh Steelers have so many injuries on the offensive side of the ball. Now they have to deal with the possibility of one of their key defensive players needing surgery.
Outside linebacker James Harrison has not participated in any activities with the Steelers this offseason thus far due to an injury to his left knee. The Pro Bowl linebacker has only been limited to work in the weight room, and hasn’t even done any sort of exercising on the sidelines.
Harrison is currently on the physically unable to perform list, and is expected to be removed from the list within a week or two in order to see how his ailing knee responds in practice.
If swelling and irritation continues to slow down the 34-year-old veteran, then immediate arthroscopic surgery will be needed for there to be even a remote chance for Harrison to be ready for the regular season opener versus the Denver Broncos.
Furthermore, second-string outside linebacker Jason Worilds is also on the PUP list, and is recovering from wrist surgery. As of right now, second-year linebacker Chris Carter is taking all of the reps with the defensive first team.
I personally feel that this situation could have been avoided if Harrison would have just gotten his knee taken care of earlier in the offseason. Getting a knee scoped seems to be a minor procedure, but waiting so late for such a thing makes matters worse for not only the aging Harrison, but for Pittsburgh’s defense as a whole.
Even Harrison’s decision not to even test his knee out while on the sidelines at practice baffles me.
The Steelers’ defense relies heavily on their pass rush, and having a healthy Harrison alongside LaMarr Woodley is something that Steeler Nation was looking forward to this upcoming season.
The all-pro linebacker does expect to be totally ready for Week 1 of the 2012 NFL season coming off of this minor knee injury. And I do hope that it is just that, minor. Pittsburgh has too many bumps and bruises on one side of the ball, and they don’t need anymore.
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