|Polamalu is not expected to play this weekend because of a bum calf.|
Even though the Steelers haven't had the services of linebacker James Harrison all season and they missed safety Troy Polamalu last week vs. the Jets, Pittsburgh ranks seventh in defense in the league. The point is that even without two of their best defenders of the past few years, the Steelers defense has been relatively fine without them.
Which is good, considering CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora reports that Pittsburgh expects to be without Harrison (knee) and Polamalu (calf) this Sunday vs. the Raiders.
Both have been “very limited” in practice, and La Canfora writes “Harrison is all but out at this point while Polamalu could have a sliver of a chance.”
But there is some good news on the horizon. Running back Rashard Mendenhall is expected to return in Week 5 after Pittsburgh's bye week to help with what has been an abysmal running game.
Mendenhall is still recovering from season-ending knee surgery, and though he's beginning to take on a heavier load in practice, the Steelers, as La Canfora has been reporting, likely will put off his season debut for another two weeks.
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