According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, the Steelers plan to rotate both outside linebackers—LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison—in the first half of Sunday's game against the Eagles in an attempt to keep them fresh for the fourth quarter.
Considering Harrison will be seeing his first action since last season's playoff loss in Denver, this was to be expected. Chris Carter, who has started in place of Harrison since the preseason, will rotate in with the five-time Pro Bowler on the right side.
It does, however, come off as a little odd that the team would decide to spell LaMarr Woodley after having probably the best start of any defensive player.
Woodley will share the field with Jason Worlids in the first half.
This all came about because of the way the Steelers gave up a 10-point fourth quarter lead in a devastating loss to Oakland in Week 3. Woodley played almost all of the game and appeared fatigued at the end of the game, leading to virtually no pass rush for the Steelers.
The team did make it clear that Woodley and Harrison would not be off the field at the same time and both will most likely play the entirety of the fourth quarter.
The Eagles' offensive line has struggled to keep Michael Vick upright this season, and I'm sure Mike Tomlin and his staff have game-planned to take full advantage of that. Having even a half-speed James Harrison back upgrades a pass rush that has accounted for only five sacks this season.
It remains to be seen how this plan will work out. If the game is close in the final 15 minutes, the move could pay big dividends for the Steelers, having two elite pass-rushers against a mediocre offensive line. But they'll have to keep it close until then.
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