The Pittsburgh Steelers defense will once again be without safety Troy Polamalu and outside linebacker James Harrison on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.
Polamalu will be replaced by Ryan Mundy while Harrison is replaced by Chris Carter, just like last week.
Polamalu suffered a strained calf injury in the 31-19 loss to Denver in Week 1. He was listed as questionable before officially being ruled out on Friday afternoon.
James Harrison is still trying to recover from his knee cleanup procedure. He has yet to play in a game this season. Harrison had promised that he would be on the field last week against the Jets, but was not dressed again.
Questions about Harrison’s knee are coming up because of the lengthy recovery time. Some people are beginning to question whether or not it was just a cleanup or if indeed some small tear was found. For a guy that has always been as tough as nails it seems odd for him to miss so much time for a quick cleanup.
Also listed as out for Sunday’s game is Rashard Mendenhall and Stevenson Sylvester. Mike Adams is listed as questionable.
Hopefully Pittsburgh will be able to get healthy in the next few weeks coming. After the Raiders game on Sunday the Steelers will have their bye week. Normally, teams like to have those later in the season, but with a banged up defense it isn’t too bad this year.
Perhaps the bigger question is what to do after the bye week. Pittsburgh will return to action Oct. 7 at Heinz Field against the Eagles. Four days later, the Steelers will travel to Tennessee for a Thursday night matchup.
If Polamalu and Harrison are able to play against Philadelphia don’t be surprised to see them sit against the Titans. Four days rest is not enough time for a hurt player to fully recover at their respective ages and it isn’t worth the risk. The defense has shown they are capable without them, at least to play Tennessee.
Thursday night games are forcing many teams to consider their lineups thoroughly. If the NFL is so keen on keeping players healthy, eliminate the Thursday night game.
No one likes Thursday night games. It is NFL Sunday for a reason.