Four days before the season mercifully ends for the rest of the Steelers, it officially came to a close for TE Heath Miller on Wednesday.

Miller, CB Ike Taylor and RB Baron Batch were placed on injured reserve, with Miller expected to undergo surgery on his right knee on Thursday.

The typical recovery time for a player who has torn his ACL and MCL is anywhere from six months to a year, meaning Miller may not be ready for next season. Miller also damaged his PCL.

"I think it would be unfair to predict how my body is going to heal or how the rebab process is going to go," Miller said. "I'm just going to approach each day and try to get better each day and see where that takes me in the end."

Taylor has missed the past three games due to a fractured right ankle.

Batch underwent surgery to repair his broken right arm he suffered against the Bengals on Sunday.

The Steelers activated TE Jamie McCoy, S Damon Cromartie-Smith and LB Marshall McFadden to take their places on the active roster. 

Pittsburgh also signed DB Walter McFadden and WR Bert Reed to its practice squad.

All five had been on the Steelers' practice squad at some point this season. Of the group, Cromartie-Smith (five games, including Week 8 this season against Washington), Marshall McFadden (one game, the home loss to Baltimore in November) and Walter McFadden (four games with Oakland in 2010) have appeared in an NFL game.

The Steelers might give McCoy playing time against the Browns on Sunday because after Miller and David Paulson, the team is thin at tight end. It's doubtful veteran TE Leonard Pope will be back in 2013.

Cromartie-Smith always has been an intriguing prospect for the secondary, particularly now that it's become apparent the coaching staff has lost faith in S Ryan Mundy. Still, he faces a crowded depth chart with the partial emergence of DB Robert Golden.

Same with Marshall McFadden. Even if veterans such as LB Larry Foote, LB James Harrison and LB Brandon Johnson do not return next season, LB Sean Spence and LB Chris Carter figure to begin camp healthy after being out for most of this season.

Meaningful game?: From the Browns' perspective, Sunday's regular-season finale is anything but meaningless. The Steelers, likewise, insist the same.

Cleveland OT Joe Thomas told Pittsburgh reporters, "Any time the Browns and the Steelers get together, it's not meaningless game when you play your No. 1 biggest rival."

From the Steelers' side, the Browns haven't been their biggest rival since about the time most of the current players were in elementary school.

But many Pittsburgh players said they were going to play the game as if it was any other.

"My mindset is on the next game on the schedule," S Troy Polamalu said. "As hard as it is to understand, I say that with all sincerity: I'm not going to approach it any different knowing there is not a Super Bowl waiting afterward."

One way this game could end up being remembered by the Steelers is that it very well might be the final time longtime veterans such as NT Casey Hampton or Foote play for the team.

"That's a negative thought, and I really don't want to think negatively," QB Ben Roethlisberger said. "You don't want to think about it being anybody's last game. So, I'm just going to cherish the time that I have with these guys and move forward from there."

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @BuzzsawPGH.