LB Harrison Undergoes Knee Surgery, Doubtful for Start of Season

Although Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison was in the hospital for knee surgery today that representatives called “minor,” the surgery casts doubts as to whether Harrison will be healthy enough to join the Steelers when the regular season begins. Coach Tomlin is reluctant to provide an actual time when he expects Harrison to be fully recovered. The Steelers will sorely miss Harrison if he does end up sitting out the first few games — the four-time Pro Bowl and 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year is a huge asset to the team’s defensive squad, and one of the reasons that fans line up to get Pittsburgh Steelers tickets every game.

Tomlin also dismissed rumors that Harrison’s knee had been an issue since early spring, when the surgery would have been received at a better time for the club. According to Tomlin, “we address things as they arise.”

Despite being one of the most dominant defensive players over the past ten years in the NFL, Harrison is no stranger to injuries and downtime. Harrison received surgery on his back last February and returned to play, only to miss another full month to an orbital bone fracture. But Harrison always makes it back to the field as soon as he’s recovered, and teammates are doubtful that his absence will extend too far into the regular season. According to fellow Steeler Brett Keisel, “they said he should be fine.”

With Harrison and Jason Worilds both out, Chris Carter is looking to get plenty of activity in the Steelers’ game against the Colts this Sunday. What Carter lacks in size (6’1″ 248 lbs.) he makes up in dedication and preparation, according to Tomlin. Although he’ll have his work cut out for him on Sunday, the young player hopes to use what he learned during the offseason following his rookie year to help him step up to a starting defensive position.