Heath Miller to be activated by Steelers before Week 1
Heath Miller to be activated by Steelers before Week 1
By Gregg Rosenthal
Published: Aug. 13, 2013
Heath Miller, not Mike Wallace or Antonio Brown, was the Pittsburgh Steelers' most valuable pass catcher last season. That's why Miller's recovery from ACL surgery looms so large over the Steelers' 2013 campaign.
But the team's plan for Miller is starting to clear up. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote Tuesday that the team wants to bring the tight end off the active/PUP list before the start of the regular season, giving him time to work his way back into form.
The Steelers had a similar plan for running back Rashard Mendenhall last season. He wound up making his regular-season debut in Week 4. The Steelers have a Week 5 bye after facing the Jacksonville Jaguars in London , so October 13 against the New York Jets might be a potential return date for Miller. If the Steelers left Miller on the PUP list to start the regular season, he would not be able to return until Week 7.
The Steelers are short at tight end with Miller's top backup, Matt Spaeth, out at least two months with a foot sprain. They might have to make some hard decisions at the position, but they aren't yet bringing in outside help.
Miller's value to the team often has been understated. His absence might show how much he truly means to the success of Ben Roethlisberger.
If his health is truly progressing well (and they are not just pushing him because of other injuries at the position), then this is great news. The return of a healthy Heath would be huge for this team. Huge.
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State
Great news indeed. And I think Heath Miller is the most understated player for the Steelers and tight end in the league in the past 10 years.
Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher
So does this mean Heath is expected to start week one or just that management wants to have him back before week seven?
If we are expecting Heath to be Heath this season then we will be greatly disappointed. It takes two years to recover from these kinds of injuries. He will be serviceable but his ability to cut on that knee will be impaired. While I am glad he is coming back, I would personally prefer to get Paulson to show time PT, and see what he is made of...as that will help us prep for the future. Having a Heath start at 80% isn't in his or the Steelers best interest.
Activated doesn't mean he will play. Though it is more promising than starting the season on PUP.
Miller can't pinpoint return to Steelers' lineup
By Alan Robinson
Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Steelers tight end Heath Miller watches practice at St. Vincent College.
Heath Miller’s 2012 rank among NFL tight ends:
Statistic No. Rank
Receptions 71 5th
Yards 816 5th
Avg. 11.5 14th
TDs 8 T-4
First-down catches 44 5th
Heath Miller acknowledges there have been occasional setbacks in his long recovery from a serious, multi-layered knee injury.
“I think in any rehab process, there are ups and downs,” said Miller, the Pro Bowl tight end who was the Steelers' leading receiver last season. “But I definitely think we've had more positives than negatives, and I feel good.”
With the regular season less than a month away, Miller continues to take his rehabilitation day by day, never looking too far ahead. And a man who still walks with a perceptible limp apparently still needs a lot more days before he can play again.
Neither the Steelers nor Miller have suggested any timetable, but running back Rashard Mendenhall didn't return from a torn ACL until a month into last season. Miller tore not only his anterior cruciate ligament but his medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments Dec. 23 against the Bengals.
He is certain he will play this season — “I'm hoping sooner rather than later,” he said — but he won't guess when it might be.
“I wish I knew the answer, but I don't,” he said.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert doesn't consider a player to be fully recovered from such an injury for a year. For Miller, that won't occur until the next-to-last game of the season.
“There's a time frame for ACLs, but obviously, I had multi-ligaments (injured) so that adds another wrinkle into it,” Miller said. “But each individual is different, and it's hard to project how your body is going to heal, how your body is going to react moving forward.”
Miller is on the physically unable to perform list but is all but certain to be removed before the start of the season. If he isn't, he can't return until after six games. The Steelers badly want him back before then.
Miller made 71 catches for 816 yards and eight touchdowns last season, when he was chosen for the Pro Bowl for a second time.
“I try to take each day and make it a positive and keep stacking positive days,” Miller said. “And I know it will be a good outcome whenever that time comes, that I'm ready to go.”
I saw Heath this week walking with a big pack of ice on his knee. He didn't seem to have any noticeable limp. But there was some blood stains on the wrap around his knee. No idea what that was from?
He has been thrusting his knee through cement walls to prove to the trainers and coaches he is ready.. Go Heath!!!!
Originally Posted by flippy
Hall of Famer
Will be great to see him back at 100%.