We await the final word on whether Steelers' sack master James Harrison's will play for Sunday afternoon's game against the New York Jets. The once reliable pass-rusher's health is starting to make people question just how much the former Defensive Player of the Year has left to give.
The 34-year-old from Kent State sat out five games last year after playing at least 15 games the past four years, and he sat out the entire preseason with a knee injury.
There are conflicting reports as to whether or not Harrison will be available for the matchup against the Jets (via ESPN). The Steelers' official injury report marks Harrison as questionable with three straight days of not participating.
While the Steelers are getting one-half of their safety corps back with Ryan Clark returning to action, the Steelers' other former Defensive Player of the Year, Troy Polamalu, will officially not play.
The linebacker corps will suffer the same misfortune if Harrison cannot play. Together, Harrison and fellow outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley are among, if not the best pass rushing tandem in the entire league.
Without Harrison, the Jets' offensive line will look to stuff Woodley every chance they get, taking little chance on him.
After missing a multitude of games last season, the entire 2012 preseason and now possibly the second game of the year, it might be time to figure out how to work Harrison into the Steelers' future.
Last season the Steelers cut several fan favorites like inside linebacker James Farrior as well as life-long Steelers Aaron Smith and Hines Ward, one of the greatest receivers of our day. Looking ahead to the 2013 salary cap situation, the Steelers might be in trouble if they try to retain some of their higher paid, older players like Harrison.