Steelers’ players have the next four days off for their bye week, giving several who are ailing a chance to get healthy. Among those the team hopes to get back on the field after the bye are linebacker James Harrison, safety Troy Polamalu and running back Rashard Mendenhall.
“It would help,” said linebacker LaMarr Woodley, speaking about Harrison and Polamalu. “Those are our key guys. That makes a big difference for the defense. Having them back will be great for our defense. The bye week is always great. Having a few injuries, Troy and James, gives guys time to heal up and rest and come back and play.”
Harrison was on the field for the first time on Tuesday, but didn’t participate on Wednesday. Polamalu worked on both days.
While both players are expected to make an impact upon their return whenever that might be, their teammates also know they can’t depend solely on them to turn things around defensively.
“We have to get them back out there,” said safety Ryan Clark. “But I don’t think it’s fair to put that much pressure on those guys to say you are why we are not playing well. You can’t say the standard is the standard and say we aren’t playing well because they aren’t there. You can’t do that. The guys who are on the field need to perform.”
Mendenhall has been practicing regularly, even getting more physical contact for the first time last week. With the running game not getting in gear yet, having him back soon would be a welcome addition.
“Rashard is one of the best in the league,” said wide receiver Mike Wallace. “When you get a guy back like that who is very explosive, has really good feet, a lot of vision, it’s going to boost our team.”
The Steelers take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7 at Heinz Field and getting any or all three of the injured players back for that game is something teammates are hoping for.
“You get a player like Rashard back, James and Troy and that will provide us a spark,” said wide receiver Antonio Brown. “They are key factors on our team and provide us an opportunity to win games. It will be great to have them back and this gives them time to recover.”
Tags: Antonio Brown, James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Mike Wallace, Rashard Mendenhall, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu
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