It’s not a good day for defensive star power in Pittsburgh.
As expected, the Steelers have announced that linebacker James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu will be inactive for Sunday afternoon’s tilt with the Jets. It’s the first time since 2006 that Pittsburgh will be playing without both of those players on the same day. The Jets are playing without cornerback Darrelle Revis and all of the injuries could turn what looked like a tight defensive-minded battle into a more free-flowing affair.
Harrison and Polamalu were both absent from practice this week for the Steelers and their absence on Sunday had been widely predicted in the days leading up to the game. Harrison’s knee has now kept him out of the first two games of the season while there’s no clear timetable for when Polamalu’s calf will be well enough for him to return to work.
Running back Rashard Mendenhall is also inactive as he tries to make his way back from his own knee surgery. The team is hoping to get him back in the next few weeks since Mendenhall has been able to practice for the last two weeks. Quarterback Charlie Batch, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, guard Kelvin Beachum and defensive tackle Alameda Ta’amu round out the list of Steelers inactives.
Tight end Dustin Keller, linebacker Bryan Thomas, tackle Dennis Landolt, quarterback Greg McElroy, defensive lineman Damon Harrison and offensive lineman Caleb Schlauderaff join Revis as the inactive Jets.