The good news: James Harrison doesn’t have a concussion, as many suspected he did after a run-in with Duane Brown Sunday.
The bad news: Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced Tuesday that Harrison will be out “a number of weeks” due to a fracture of his right orbital eye socket. He’ll undergo surgery on Wednesday, according to the team.
Fortunately for the Steelers, they have a very strong group of linebackers. ESPN’s John Clayton claims Lawrence Timmons will move to outside linebacker, which likely means veteran Larry Foote will slide back into a starting role inside. Harrison’s regular backup, 2010 second-round pick Jason Worilds, is doubtful for Week 5 with a groin injury.
And so the geriatric Steelers defense gets slightly younger for a few weeks.
Harrison had two of the team’s seven sacks and was tied for the team lead with 18 solo tackles.
The 3-1 Titans are running into Pittsburgh at a perfect time. Not only will the 2-2 Steelers be without an All-Pro linebacker, but there’s some serious doubt surrounding the health of both Ben Roethlisberger and Rashard Mendenhall. Tomlin is confident that Roethlisberger will play Sunday despite likely being limited in practice with a sprained left foot, while Mendenhall’s status is up in the air due to a strained hamstring. (Watch out for Isaac Redman.)