|James Harrison won't play against the Titans, and he may be out for a while. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gets points for honesty. During his weekly Tuesday press conference, he pretty much laid it out there: "We're gonna need the support of our fans."
He mentioned this in reference to the team's slow start, but also fresh off the news that the Steelers will be without outside linebacker James Harrison, who suffered a right orbital fracture around his eye socket in the loss to the Texans (it may have happened on the play in the video below), for "a number of weeks." It gets worse: Harrison's backup, 2010 second-round pick Jason Worilds, is listed as doubtful with a quadriceps injury.
So the plan, at least for now, is to move inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons into Harrison's position and have veteran Larry Foote start inside next to James Farrior. Tomlin also said that rookie Chris Carter and second-year linebacker Stevenson Sylvester could also see time.
We've previously documented that the offensive line is in shambles, so much so that last Sunday quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left Reliant Stadium in a walking boot and on crutches. If there's a silver lining, it's that X-rays on Roethlisberger's foot showed that it wasn't broken, just sprained.
"It may limit him early in the week but we expect him participate in this football game," Tomlin said.
Given how the first month of the season has unfolded, and under the current circumstances, having Roethlisberger on the field might be the Steelers' best chance at winning, even at Heinz Field. The problem, of course, is that if the offensive line goes pass-blocking optional, Big Ben might leave the game in pieces.
If the Titans are one of the early surprises of the 2011 season, the Steelers are certainly one of the most disappointing, and some of that can be traced to injuries. But as Lou Holtz once said, "Don't tell people your problems -- half of them don't care and the other half are glad you got 'em."
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