Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison hasn’t participated in training camp, due to being on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He also hasn’t played in the preseason but he still plans on playing in the regular season opener when the Steelers go on the road to play the Denver Broncos on September 9th.
Still not activated from the PUP list, the Pro Bowl linebacker had arthroscopic surgery on his knee. Neither Harrison, nor the Steelers are sure of when he will be able practice. However, despite saying that he will be ready for Week 1, the nine-year veteran doesn’t anticipate playing in the final two preseason games at this point.
Pittsburgh isn’t just experiencing a wrath of injuries in their backfield; they are also feeling the pain in their linebacking corps. Along with Harrison, Jason Worilds started training camp on the PUP list with a wrist injury, and remains on the list. In addition, third-year linebacker Stevenson Sylvester is expected to miss three to four weeks with a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee.
Looking at how depleted Pittsburgh’s group of linebackers have become, Harrison’s return to the practice field is highly needed to help the lack of depth at the position. Adding his presence to an up-and-coming LaMarr Woodley in the pass rush will help the Steelers’ front seven, as well as the secondary.
The readiness of Harrison and soon-to-be signed wide receiver Mike Wallace in such a short amount of time will be a major part of setting the tone for the Steelers at the start of the regular season.
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