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JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 10:27 AM
Steelers need depth at LB? If the above is true, Foote & Sly start inside with Ivy backing them up. If Worilds can go, Timmons & Worilds start with Carter backing them up. They went with 1 & 1 gameday @ LB but it was the Pats. We all knew nickel would see the field alot so that wasn't a big risk. It is the Ravens now...Will that active number work? Even to complicate things more...Is Worilds 100% and will he play? I hear rumblings they are sniffing for depth. Sniffing could turn into an inhale here if Worilds isn't 100% when they hit the field today. So "WHO" is in & "WHO" is out?

Best choice in?
Sign Thaddeus Gibson off Texans PS.

Given the situation and the guy would get a helmet gameday...Best choice in my opinion. Camp cuts are on the street and who knows if they are in playing shape. I'm sure someone will throw Gholston's name in the hat but the only one out there with knowledge of the system that could play in an emergency & in football shape would be Gibson.


Best choice out?
This is a difficult one. All players have to clear waivers now meaning a team could claim them so there is a risk with a young player. Meredith may be a guy who would clear but I hear they like his upside & there is still injury concerns on the OL. All other names would surely not clear. What veterans make sense? All their contracts are guranteed so that isn't the focus. Essex would clear but given Bronco's injury and he can play C he is a no. Hoke? Posibility. Is he still injured and/or are the stingers are a concern? He may very well get a handshake / wink and asked to come back when healthy if he is still injured. However, if he is healthy I don't expect him to go anywhere. Especially if he could play this week. Front 7 depth very important against the Ravens. So I have one more on my radar that makes alot of sense. Given the health of the position, the performance of the youth at the position, where he sits on the depth chart, and given his 2.6 cap number...He will clear waivers. I think certain players showed against the Pats he is expendable. He also may still be on the street if the desire to get him back after some get healthy at LB.

Release Bryant McFadden.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
11-01-2011, 10:49 AM
While I agree that BMac is expendable - he might be fifth on the depth chart at this point - I think that the most likely cut would be Hoke (or another injured player in their last year) with a handshake.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 10:53 AM
While I agree that BMac is expendable - he might be fifth on the depth chart at this point - I think that the most likely cut would be Hoke (or another injured player in their last year) with a handshake.


I agree as stated. If Hoke can't go this week...He should be the cut.

flippy
11-01-2011, 11:14 AM
Could we use Keisel at OLB?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 11:18 AM
Could we use Keisel at OLB?


Strongside LOLB ala Kevin Greene and start Heyward / McClendon at RDE??? There is an interesting thought.

Slapstick
11-01-2011, 11:22 AM
Keisel worked out at OLB in the past, but has never played there...

He does play as a stand up rusher on passing downs (he moved over to the left side on the final offensive play of the game for the Pats...look what happened!!)...

BradshawsHairdresser
11-01-2011, 11:28 AM
Don't you think that Ray Rice and Joe Whacco are salivating at the news that Farrior, Harrison and Woodley are out for this game?

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 11:31 AM
Don't you think that Ray Rice and Joe Whacco are salivating at the news that Farrior, Harrison and Woodley are out for this game?

I think they are celebrating too much with each other in the shower after every practice after hearing this news.

SteelBucks
11-01-2011, 11:50 AM
Woodley sidelined for Ravens game, maybe more

Tuesday, November 01, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
LaMarr Woodley's hamstring injury is "not good," a team source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and he could miss an extended period of time -- further weakening an already depleted linebacker corps.

Woodley will not play against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at Heinz Field and will likely miss the following game against the Cincinnati Bengals, meaning he probably won't return until after the Nov. 20 bye week.

He was injured in the third quarter in the 25-17 victory against the New England Patriots when he fell to the ground trying to rush quarterback Tom Brady. The incident was similar to when Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson injured his hamstring and collapsed to the ground while running with the ball in a game against the Steelers last month. Johnson has missed the past four games.

Coach Mike Tomlin could update Woodley's injury today during his weekly televised news conference.

The Steelers played against the Patriots without linebackers James Harrison, James Farrior and backup Jason Worilds. When Woodley was injured, rookie outside linebacker Chris Carter replaced him.



Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/11305/118666 ... z1cT9tGT4y (http://post-gazette.com/pg/11305/1186660-100.stm#ixzz1cT9tGT4y)

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 12:00 PM
Keisel worked out at OLB in the past, but has never played there...

He does play as a stand up rusher on passing downs (he moved over to the left side on the final offensive play of the game for the Pats...look what happened!!)...

Well his strength at LOLB would be against the run which is what concerns me about any healthy LB left on the roster. He wouldn't be Woodley on the pass rush but DL could get pressure from stunts and blitzes from whomever is on the field in nickel & dime. When you think of Woodley you think of pass rush but he is by far the best run defender from the LOLB spot. Against the Ravens, that is really what will be most important for the D to be productive by getting them in 2nd & long. If the Ravens are seeing 2nd & 5 or less...Getting to Flacco will be very difficult no matter who is starting. You just leave too many plays in the Ravens playbook to defend. This game will hinge on the Steelers run D and getting the O back on the field. I feel the Steelers O will be able to move the ball through the air and put up points but if the Ravens control the LOS and run the ball...They will limit our posessions. Expect some Redzone woes and settling for FGs so the Steelers need to "stack up" posessions to put up points. If Rice is putting them in 2nd and medium or short and carries the ball 25 times or more...."Stacking up" posessions will be very difficult without turnovers. Maybe this is the game the Steelers D turns on that switch too. :tt2

Mister Pittsburgh
11-01-2011, 12:00 PM
Trade the Cardinals a 7th rounder for Porter. Dude could step right in....or is the trade deadline past already?

I was thinking about Keisel at OLB yesterday after hearing Woodley is out......Would be a surprise move and he is a very athletic big man.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 12:07 PM
Trade the Cardinals a 7th rounder for Porter. Dude could step right in....or is the trade deadline past already?

I was thinking about Keisel at OLB yesterday after hearing Woodley is out......Would be a surprise move and he is a very athletic big man.

It has passed. Given the Steelers cap situation, whomever they sign has to be a guy who won't have to be paid vet min.

Slapstick
11-01-2011, 12:09 PM
Ivy is already on the team...

He played all three LB positions in WVU's defense...wasn't he playing OLB for the Steelers?

Pahn711
11-01-2011, 12:17 PM
When you think of Woodley you think of pass rush but he is by far the best run defender from the LOLB spot. Against the Ravens, that is really what will be most important for the D to be productive by getting them in 2nd & long. If the Ravens are seeing 2nd & 5 or less...Getting to Flacco will be very difficult no matter who is starting. You just leave too many plays in the Ravens playbook to defend. This game will hinge on the Steelers run D and getting the O back on the field.

:Agree Flacco has been inconsistent throwing the ball and considering how well our pass D has been, this could very well come down to how we play against the run. With Woodley and Harrison both out, it becomes even more crucial that the D line adjust to the chop blocks from last game and better free up the linebackers to make plays against the run. Lebeau proved against the Pats hes ready to make the necessary adjustments, so I have confidence he will do the same here.

RuthlessBurgher
11-01-2011, 12:34 PM
Trade the Cardinals a 7th rounder for Porter. Dude could step right in....or is the trade deadline past already?

I was thinking about Keisel at OLB yesterday after hearing Woodley is out......Would be a surprise move and he is a very athletic big man.

Trade deadline passed.

But I do like the idea of practicing Keisel at strongside OLB this week in case Worilds can't go. That's the type of thinking outside the box that would help us get all of our best players on the field when we are without several of our big money superstars.

In that case, though, if Hoke is also still unable to go, you'd likely need to bring Corbin Bryant back up from the practice squad to provide DL depth (while also keeping Mortty Ivy on the active roster for LB depth), so you'd still need to sacrifice a vet like McFadden anyway.

You'd have Keisel in Woodley's spot, Foote in Timmons' spot, Sylvester in Farrior's spot, and Timmons in Harrison's spot, with Carter available for outside depth and Ivy for inside depth. Then you'd have the Triple H crew on the DL...Hood-Hampton-Heyward, with McLendon and Bryant as depth (assuming that Hoke can't go). Certainly not optimal, but I think that looks functional to me.

If they keep Keisel at DE, then nabbing Thad Gibson of the Houston P.S. also sounds like a reasonable solution for OLB depth (then you wouldn't need to promote Corbin Bryant). I'm just not thrilled with the thought of having to play an entire game with Timmons moving over to strongside backer in Woodley's place, Carter starting in Harrison's weakside spot, and Thad Gibson, only on the team for a few days, as our only backup option there (although some experience with LeBeau's system going through one training camp with us is better than nothing, it is certainly not optimal...he's been playing in a 3-4 D in Houston, but Wade Phillips' scheme is fundamentally different than Dick LeBeau's scheme, even though they are both a base 3-4.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 12:37 PM
Listening to Steeler Nation Radio...They are talking about Keisel playing OLB.

Per Tomlin's press conference:

Bronco is only Steeler rulled out for Sunday.

Worilds is scheduled to practice and so is Farrior.

Status of Woodley TBD by participation this week.

Sanders to have knee looked at and his Mom passed away. (Thoughts & prayers to him.)

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-01-2011, 12:48 PM
Trade the Cardinals a 7th rounder for Porter. Dude could step right in....or is the trade deadline past already?

I was thinking about Keisel at OLB yesterday after hearing Woodley is out......Would be a surprise move and he is a very athletic big man.

Trade deadline passed.

But I do like the idea of practicing Keisel at strongside OLB this week in case Worilds can't go. That's the type of thinking outside the box that would help us get all of our best players on the field when we are without several of our big money superstars.

In that case, though, if Hoke is also still unable to go, you'd likely need to bring Corbin Bryant back up from the practice squad to provide DL depth (while also keeping Mortty Ivy on the active roster for LB depth), so you'd still need to sacrifice a vet like McFadden anyway.

You'd have Keisel in Woodley's spot, Foote in Timmons' spot, Sylvester in Farrior's spot, and Timmons in Harrison's spot, with Carter available for outside depth and Ivy for inside depth. Then you'd have the Triple H crew on the DL...Hood-Hampton-Heyward, with McLendon and Bryant as depth (assuming that Hoke can't go). Certainly not optimal, but I think that looks functional to me.

If they keep Keisel at DE, then nabbing Thad Gibson of the Houston P.S. also sounds like a reasonable solution for OLB depth (then you wouldn't need to promote Corbin Bryant). I'm just not thrilled with the thought of having to play an entire game with Timmons moving over to strongside backer in Woodley's place, Carter starting in Harrison's weakside spot, and Thad Gibson, only on the team for a few days, as our only backup option there (although some experience with LeBeau's system going through one training camp with us is better than nothing, it is certainly not optimal...he's been playing in a 3-4 D in Houston, but Wade Phillips' scheme is fundamentally different than bad word LeBeau's scheme, even though they are both a base 3-4.

That is my biggest concern too. Timmons "strengths" is really negated playing close to the LOS at ROLB since he has taken over for Harrison. You could see his suddeness but he is just engulfed by the big OTs and can't get off them in his pass rush. He holds the edge well against the run but I don't think he will fair well strongside trying to take on trapping OL and lead blockers to keep the play inside. He is not a leverage guy like Woodley & Harrison. Worilds stature might be better suited for LOLB but he doesn't have much experience there if anywhere. Keisel might be the best option there. Tomlin did say that signing a LB later in the week might have to be done after seeing where they are on the injury front at LB.

hawaiiansteel
11-01-2011, 05:42 PM
LaMarr Woodley: Don't count me out

Updated: November 1, 2011
ESPN.com news services

Woodley Might Play

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley said Tuesday not to count him out for his team's game Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

"Everybody counting me out ... don't count me out yet. Big game on Sunday," Woodley said in an online video link posted on his Twitter page. Woodley was having his injured hamstring worked on while he was speaking in the short video message.

Woodley was responding to a local media report that he would miss Sunday's game with his hamstring injury. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, citing a team source, reported that Woodley's hamstring injury is "not good" and he will miss Sunday night's game vs. Baltimore and likely the next game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The newspaper reported that he might be able to return after the team's Nov. 20 bye.

Woodley has been on a tear with 7.5 sacks in his past four games, including two against the New England Patriots in Sunday's victory, but he sat out the fourth quarter after injuring the hamstring in the third quarter. He leads the AFC with nine sacks.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Woodley's availability for Sunday's game will depend on his ability to practice this week.

The Steelers also might be without starting linebackers James Harrison and James Farrior versus the Ravens.

Harrison announced on his Twitter account: "Saw the doctor today. Looks like I won't be playing this weekend but at least I'm cleared for practice."

Farrior is expected to miss as much as a month with a calf injury, the Post-Gazette has reported.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Tuesday that Harrison has been cleared to practice.

"He has been cleared to practice and that is where we are," Tomlin said Tuesday, according to the team's website. "We will reevaluate the situation at some point later in the week and let that be our guide in terms of potential participation. But right now I just want to be clear that he has been cleared to practice."

Tomlin said Farrior will practice in a limited capacity Wednesday.

Woodley and Harrison have totaled 82.5 sacks since 2008, accounting for half of the Steelers' sacks over that time.

At one point in the fourth quarter of Sunday's win over New England, Lawrence Timmons was the only normal Steelers starting linebacker on the field, and he was playing out of position at outside linebacker as Harrison's replacement.

Pittsburgh survived anyway with reserve linebackers Larry Foote and Chris Carter making plays. Carter filled in for Woodley when he left the game.

The Steelers hope linebacker Jason Worilds returns this week from a quadriceps injury. If Woodley, Farrior and Harrison can't play, Carter, Sylvester and Foote will take on bigger roles. Tomlin also didn't rule out using four defensive linemen.

Receiver Hines Ward will practice this week after missing the Patriots game with an ankle injury. Receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who announced on his Twitter account that his mother died Tuesday morning, will have his left knee evaluated. Both players will be monitored throughout the week. Only guard Doug Legursky, who started the first three games of the season, has officially been ruled out for Sunday.

The Steelers (6-2) can use all the healthy players they can get. The Ravens pummeled them in the season opener, forcing seven turnovers in Baltimore's 35-7 win. The Steelers have won their last four, but Tomlin said the Ravens' defense continues to be "the best in the world."

"They are slaying people and we are a part of that," he said. "They are playing extremely fast, they are really talented, they know what they are doing and they are very rarely out of place. They have uniquely talented people at every level of their defense."

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/71769 ... -count-out (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7176924/lamarr-woodley-pittsburgh-steelers-says-count-out)

SteelCrazy
11-01-2011, 06:34 PM
Could Heyward play OLB? He has the speed to do so.........

Discipline of Steel
11-01-2011, 07:45 PM
or stack the line on base defense ... 4-3 style

Diesel - Hood - Snack - Heyward
Timmons - Foote - Sylvester/Worilds/Carter

I guess Diesel up or down, those are our best front 7

BURGH86STEEL
11-01-2011, 08:04 PM
Could Heyward play OLB? He has the speed to do so.........

If necessary, Keisel would probably be the Dlineman to move to OLB.

hawaiiansteel
11-01-2011, 08:53 PM
Could Heyward play OLB? He has the speed to do so.........

If necessary, Keisel would probably be the Dlineman to move to OLB.


NOVEMBER 01, 2011
posted by Dale Lolley

Tuesday with Tomlin


Mike Tomlin declared just one person out for Sunday's game against Baltimore - guard Doug Legursky.

As expected, Tomlin said linebacker James Harrison has been cleared to practice and that his status, along with that of LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior and Jason Worilds would be determined later in the week.

But that was purely coach speak.

More realistically, Worilds is the only player expected to return and the Steelers aren't sure what they are going to get from him since he has very little playing experience.

More telling was Tomlin's statement that the Steelers might have to line up with a four-man defensive line - though you can assume if they do that, Brett Keisel may do so as a stand-up end, sometimes dropping into coverage.

© New to the injury list this week is wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who has a left knee issue.

Sanders is also dealing with the death of his mother.

© Hines Ward could return this week after sitting out against New England with an ankle injury.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sidelines/

Pahn711
11-01-2011, 10:34 PM
Harrison puts on his twitter that the doctors ruled him out for Sunday, yet Tomlin evasively eludes to him having a slight possibility of playing. :wft

Maybe Goodell should do something useful for a change and force coaches to quit the deception.

ikestops85
11-02-2011, 12:29 PM
Harrison puts on his twitter that the doctors ruled him out for Sunday, yet Tomlin evasively eludes to him having a slight possibility of playing. :wft

Maybe Goodell should do something useful for a change and force coaches to quit the deception.

Why? The only reason teams have to do this at all is for betting purposes. I don't think teams should have to announce injuries at all. Our opponents should be forced to prepare to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not the individual players on the team. I think it would make it more interesting if coaches didn't have to speak about injuries at all.

Pahn711
11-02-2011, 01:34 PM
Harrison puts on his twitter that the doctors ruled him out for Sunday, yet Tomlin evasively eludes to him having a slight possibility of playing. :wft

Maybe Goodell should do something useful for a change and force coaches to quit the deception.

Why? The only reason teams have to do this at all is for betting purposes. I don't think teams should have to announce injuries at all. Our opponents should be forced to prepare to play the Pittsburgh Steelers. Not the individual players on the team. I think it would make it more interesting if coaches didn't have to speak about injuries at all.

You're right, I would just prefer they give an honest report or none at all. The deception gets annoying, and social media like twitter is exacerbating the problem.

Slapstick
11-02-2011, 03:02 PM
Perhaps Harrison is practicing the deception... :twisted:

hawaiiansteel
11-03-2011, 01:28 AM
How long can injury-riddled defense continue to play at high level?

WEDNESDAY, 02 NOVEMBER 2011 WRITTEN BY BOB SMIZIK

http://c0021359.cdn1.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/images/stories/m_kennedy/2010smizikblog_155.png

How long can a team continue to win with injuries to multiple important players?

We may find out Sunday when the injury-ravaged Steelers play the Baltimore Ravens.

Although coach Mike Tomlin pronounced only offensive guard Doug Legursky out for the game, it is widely believed that linebackers James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley and James Farrior will not play. That’s three Pro Bowl linebackers missing from the lineup. While Farrior is no longer a player of that caliber, Harrison and Woodley are.

The Steelers have not missed a beat without Harrison, who has been out for the past four games -- all wins. That is truly remarkable because Harrison remains at or near the top of his game and his replacement, Lawrence Timmons, while playing well in other areas, has provided nothing approaching the pressure Harrison puts on quarterbacks.

Someone in the media suggested recently that Harrison is one-dimensional. That is true only if the dimension is mayhem.

Despite getting more attention with Harrison out, Woodley has stepped up his previously slumping game and was excellent before being injured in the second half against New England.

Chris Carter will replace Woodley. Stevenson Sylvester, as he did Sunday, will start in place of Farrior. Larry Foote will start inside with Sylvester and Timmons remains at right outside linebacker.

The primary and possibly only backup may be Mortty Ivy, plucked from the practice squad last week. Jason Worilds, after an extended absence with injury, returns to practice today and could be ready to go Sunday.

Tomlin said the team will not sign any new linebackers and will improvise -- Brett Keisel playing on the outside -- if necessary.

The Steelers will be without three of their starting four linebackers and the fourth will be out of position.

That is a less than ideal situation, What is made a bit more palatable is the fact the Ravens offense has been disappointing this season. Its high point was scoring 35 against the Steelers in the opener -- when all the defensive players were healthy. But their offense is 14th in the NFL in yards; Joe Flacco is 27th in passer rating (75.4) and 31st in percentage (51.8). Running back Ray Rice, who usually plays very well against the Steelers, is 17th in the league in yards per game (69.9).

Surely, the unit that stuffed the New England offense -- with Woodley -- is good enough to handle what Baltimore brings. It should, but at some point a team cannot continue to play well with so many starters out. It defies logic.

There is an outside chance Harrison might play, and that is pure speculation based on this:

Harrison’s agent is Bill Parise: On Monday he was quoted as saying this: ``I think it is possible’’ that Harrison would play. ``Unless something happens, he will play this week.’’

Later in the day, on Twitter, Harrison said, "Saw the doctor today. Looks like I won't be playing this weekend but at least I'm cleared for practice.''

It is unusual for players to return to practice and be ruled out for the next game six days away, although Harrison injury, a fractured orbital bone, is delicate and unusual.

Still, no one should be astonished if there is word late in the week that Harrison might be available.

The Steelers sure could use him.

http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazet ... nue-to-win (http://communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/sports/bob-smiziks-blog/30625-how-long-can-injruy-riddled-steeles-continue-to-win)

Ghost
11-03-2011, 08:55 AM
I know Tomlin is not officially declaring anyone out for the game but the Post Gazette is reporting Farrior has a torn calf muscle and could miss a month. Woirlds is definitley practicing even with the thigh injury.

Tomlin has stated they will not be looking for any additional players outside of the organization.

Couple of things being considered: Keisel to OLB with Heyward in his spot. A 4 man line with Hampton & Hoke/McClendon inside with Keisel/Hood out - go with a 4-3 or even a 4-2. Maybe go with a lot of 6 man secondary which we saw with NE.

ikestops85
11-03-2011, 09:16 AM
I know Tomlin is not officially declaring anyone out for the game but the Post Gazette is reporting Farrior has a torn calf muscle and could miss a month. Woirlds is definitley practicing even with the thigh injury.

Tomlin has stated they will not be looking for any additional players outside of the organization.

Couple of things being considered: Keisel to OLB with Heyward in his spot. A 4 man line with Hampton & Hoke/McClendon inside with Keisel/Hood out - go with a 4-3 or even a 4-2. Maybe go with a lot of 6 man secondary which we saw with NE.

The strategy we used against the Pats* will not work against the ratbirds. If we use a lot of dime packages they will run the ball down our throat. B-more is not a spread them out and attack kind of team. They run a lot of jumbo sets with max protect when they throw. They also use a lot of unbalanced line formations which can give us fits.

No, DL and friends will have to come up with something a little different but after last week I have complete confidence that they will. :Beer

RuthlessBurgher
11-03-2011, 09:35 AM
Someone in the media suggested recently that Harrison is one-dimensional.

What drooling idiot suggested that?

Unlike ESPN's favorite OLB darlings like Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware who rush the passer constantly and not much else, Harrison plays the run as well or better than most inside backers (he averages more than twice as many tackles as most 3-4 OLB's), and also does a better job forcing fumbles when he hits someone, and is able to defend passes in coverage as well. And he still is on par with those guys in terms of sacks too. He is easily the most well-rounded 3-4 OLB in all of football. One dimensional my ass.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-03-2011, 09:38 AM
We have heard all the possibilities now. I think it all hinges on who practices and what they see from them. If Worlids is a go and Farrior, Woodley, & Harrison are out...I think they could run with what the have. If Worilds is out...They may look to bring someone in. I don't bye into "we will look inside" because Starks was not on the radar by all reports. The smart thing to do is say that if they have their eye on someone too. For the Ravens, the best choice may be having Keisel, Foote, Timmons, & Worilds at LB with Hood, Hampton, & McClendon across the front in base. Keeping Rice in check on 1st down will be the key to putting the pressure on Flacco on 2nd & 3rd. I for one can't wait to see the Steelers man-up and send 6 & 7. Nobody at WR scares me and Flacco throws from his back foot and forces balls under pressure. The combination of Keisel off the edge frontside and staying tight to the LOS in Flaco's hot lane during a blitz could result in some tip balls & INTs. May be the 1st game we see multiple picks if they go that route.

hawaiiansteel
11-03-2011, 03:33 PM
News & Notes: Harrison's playing status blurry

Thu Nov 3, 2011.
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/timesonline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/98/0980ddbf-8f89-54dd-84c7-812940621a56/4eb2018936cb2.preview-300.jpg

Not-so sweet, James
James Harrison has missed the last month with an eye injury.

PITTSBURGH _ James Harrison's chances of playing Sunday are still a bit blurry.

The Steelers' all-star linebacker returned to practice Wednesday but that didn't shed any light on when he may be able to play again.

After practice, Harrison was asked if he's holding out any hopes of playing Sunday night against the Ravens.

"I hope so," he said. "But it's up to the doctors."

Harrison has not played since Oct. 2 when he fractured his right eye orbital in a collision with Houston Texans tackle Duane Brown. Besides the time needed to heal the broken bone, Harrison has also experienced double vision. Doctors are also concerned that his eye could become infected.

Moments after saying he hopes to play against the Ravens, Harrison said, "I got two eyes, I'm not playing with my vision. If (doctors) say no, I'm not going (to play). That's not something I'm willing to lose."

Harrison was one of three wounded linebackers who practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. The others are James Farrior, who missed last week's win over New England with a torn calf muscle, and LaMarr Woodley, who suffered a hamstring pull in the 25-17 win over the Patriots.

The Steelers don't expect Harrison, Farrior or Woodley to play Sunday.

Meanwhile, there was some good news regarding the banged-up linebacker corps. Jason Worilds returned to practice after missing four games with a hamstring pull.

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... 697b9.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/news-notes-harrison-s-future-blurry/article_fcaa4e37-8d3b-59e3-878e-5c9107c697b9.html)

Eddie Spaghetti
11-03-2011, 03:43 PM
hopefully sanders, worilds, and hokey will all answer the bell.

hawaiiansteel
11-03-2011, 04:09 PM
Seeing is believing for Steelers

James Harrison returned to practice Wednesday with one more hurdle to clear before playing again

Thursday, November 03, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201111/freed_steelers110211_2_330.jpg

Linebacker James Harrison, talking with Troy Polamalu, right, returned to practice Wednesday for the first time since breaking the orbital bone around his right eye Oct. 2.

The question: Will he/can he play Sunday?

Don't count James Harrison out of the AFC North showdown Sunday night at Heinz Field -- even if James Harrison already did.

Harrison practiced for the first time Wednesday since the orbital bone around his right eye was broken Oct. 2 in a freak accident late in the Steelers game at Houston. After practice, all things seemed to be eye-OK.

"It felt good to be back out there practicing," Harrison said.

The return of the four time All-Pro linebacker to his position on the right outside of the defense would be a boost for a team that has lost the services of fellow outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley to a hamstring injury and inside linebacker James Farrior to a calf injury.

All three were officially listed by coach Mike Tomlin as having "limited" participation in practice Wednesday, but Harrison is the only one of the three with a chance to play when the first-place Steelers (6-2) play Baltimore (5-2), and it might be a good chance.

Harrison wrote Monday on Twitter that it "looks like I won't be playing this weekend" after he visited the doctor but was cleared to practice. After practice yesterday, however, he said he could be cleared to play this weekend if he passes another eye exam Friday or Saturday.

"I'll probably get scanned again, and they'll ask me how I'm feeling," said Harrison, the NFL's defensive player of the year in 2008.

It has been a rough year for Harrison. He had two back surgeries in March, started the season slowly because of it and then came the freak injury. A collision ripped off his chinstrap and the padding in the top of the helmet was violently shoved down into his eye.

"It blew out the bone underneath it," Harrison explained.

He wore a tinted visor in practice and will do so when he plays next -- he said he hopes doctors will clear him for Sunday. He warned, however, that he would leave the decision in their hands and not try to push them if they balk at him playing.

"I got two eyes. I'm not playing with my vision. So, if they say no, that's not something I'm willing to do."

Suggs stakes some claims

Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs sacked Ben Roethlisberger three times Sept. 11, then boasted that he owns the Steelers quarterback. In a sense, he owns all Steelers quarterbacks.

Suggs has 131/2 sacks in the regular season against Steelers quarterbacks, more than any other opposing player, at least since the sack became official in 1982.

"No man owns anybody, but, if there is anybody that can bring him down by themselves, it's definitely me," Suggs said Wednesday about Roethlisberger.

"I am pretty sure he has something in store so I don't have a good day."

Suggs, on a conference call with the media in Pittsburgh, tried to explain why he plays so well against the Steelers.

"I consider Heinz Field my Madison Square Garden, in my eyes.

"If you are an opponent and you want to go into a hostile environment, what better place than Heinz Field? I am definitely the bad guy.

"I think throughout the league, with your guys' fans, I don't think there is a player that they hate more than me. But I love that. I love playing at Heinz Field, even though the fans hate me. Everything about the game, they bring it. They are a big part of the game. We are even looking forward to that song [Renegade] in the fourth quarter. It's going to be fun."

Suggs said he loves the rivalry between the teams.

"I am expecting a straight up, gang fight and brawl. ... We aren't going to be surprised if we go out there and get into a scuffle or a brawl. This is definitely football. It's football at its finest.

"It's definitely the most physical game of the year out of all 32 teams. We are looking forward to it.

"Tell 86, I hope he plays because it wouldn't be Baltimore-Pittsburgh without him. I would be really disappointed if 86 didn't play."

Ward says he will return

No. 86 laughed about Suggs' comments.

"I think you have to play in this rivalry for awhile to understand it," Hines Ward said.

"You have to understand the magnitude of it, what it means. ... They whipped our butt the first game. There's nothing we can really do about that; now we get a chance Sunday night in Heinz Field."

Ward promised he would play after missing the New England game last week with a sprained ankle.

"I wouldn't miss this for the world."

Casey at the bat

Casey Hampton issued a guarantee about the game Sunday, but not in any Joe Namath/Anthony Smith manner.

"I can't see that happening again," he said of Baltimore's 35-7 thrashing of the Steelers in the season opener. "If they beat us, they're going to beat us, but it's not going to be an out-tempo thing, where they're playing faster and with more intensity.

"I guarantee you that."

Hampton, who said after that opening loss that Baltimore's chop-blocking techniques took him by surprise, said he is more prepared for the Ravens if they use that kind of blocking scheme again Sunday.

"I haven't seen them doing it against a whole lot of people besides us. It worked last time, so I don't see why they would go to something different if it worked the last time."

Quick hits

• The Steelers will wear the throwback uniforms they have worn in recent years. Players also have been warned they are subject to fines if they continue to wear the pink (shoes, towels, gloves, etc) they sported during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

• The Steelers signed receiver Jamar Newsome to the practice squad and released defensive lineman Elisha Joseph.

• Receiver Emmanuel Sanders was in Texas, where his mother died this week. He also has a knee injury, and his status is unknown for Sunday.

• Besides Farrior, Harrison and Woodley, those listed as having a limited participation in practice were Ward and offensive tackle Jonathan Scott (ankle).

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