is reporting that injured Steelers stars James Harrison and Troy Polamalu will likely return to action Sunday as Pittsburgh takes on the Philadelphia Eagles.
According to the report, Harrison (knee) and Polamalu (calf), returned from the team’s buy week on Monday and practiced together for the first time this season.
“Based on what I am looking at on how we worked yesterday I think that is a safe assessment [that they will play],” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. “We will watch these guys as we proceed throughout the week. All guys have performed well and were able to get through practice and we’re optimistic that they’re going to be full participants.”
While Polamalu only missed Pittsburgh’s last two games with his calf injury, Harrison, a nine-year vet, has been sidelined since the spring, recovering from surgery on his left knee. The return of both players will be welcomed, as entering Week 5 the Steelers are 1-2 and could certainly use a boost in the pass rush department.
“We’ll see what happens, but it’s been a while since we’ve all been on the field together,” Polamalu said. “There are some other new faces out there who have been permanent starters, so it’s all about how well 11 guys mesh on our defense.”
USA Today notes that in addition to Harrison and Polamalu’s potential return, the Steelers could also get a boost to the running game as Rashard Mendenhall also is expected to make his season debut Sunday.
Mendenhall, who hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his right knee against Cleveland on New Year’s Day, has reportedly practiced regularly over the last three weeks and a comeback is imminent.
“We’re gauging it, me and the coaches, and when we get to the point where we all think I can play then I’ll get back in there,” Mendenhall said.