Steelers linebacker James Harrison was feeling hopeful after practicing Tuesday.
When he left the team facility before practice Wednesday, the mood hand changed.
The left knee problems that have bothered him all summer cropped up again, a worrisome issue.
“It’s a little bit of a setback,” agent Bill Parise told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Hopefully, it’s not something that will derail our plans.”
Tuesday’s was Harrison’s second full practice of the year, after he had surgery on Aug. 15. Now, getting back on the field after the bye for their Oct. 7 game against the Eagles appears in doubt.
His other practice was the Monday before the opener, after he was removed from the physically unable to perform list. But he was limited the following Wednesday, and didn’t practice again until trying Tuesday.
The knee’s a huge concern for the Steelers, whose defense doesn’t look the same without him.
Former fifth-round pick Chris Carter has started all three games, rotating with former second-rounder Jason Worilds.
Between them, they have a sack, one pressure and two batted passes in three games. The Steelers have just five sacks as a team.
“James is an amazing player, so we take it as a badge of honor to be able to step in for such an accomplished player,” Carter said.
It would be even better if they’d step up their production to something even vaguely resembling his level.