By Dale Grdnic
PITTSBURGH — Safety Troy Polamalu practiced for the first time in three weeks Friday, and he said he definitely wants to play when his Pittsburgh Steelers visit the Cleveland Browns for a 1 p.m. kickoff Sunday.
“I felt better than I’ve been feeling, so I feel pretty good about that,” Polamalu said. “It’s 100 percent on what Coach Tomlin decides. I’ve been feeling better and better since I missed the Jets game. At this point of the season, you’ve just got to roll with injuries since everybody’s injured right now.”
If the Steelers (11-4) beat the Browns (5-10), they win the AFC North Division and get a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs. The Steelers already have qualified for the post-season, but would be a wild-card participant if they don’t win and the Baltimore Ravens (11-4) beat the Cincinnati Bengals (4-11).
“It would help me tremendously,” Polamalu said about the bye week. “It would help a lot of guys on this team tremendously. There’s guys that are just barely hanging on by a string, week by week. Unfortunately for me, that string broke, and it’s time for me to tie it back up there again.”
The Steelers also can tie the Browns and win the division if the Ravens and Bengals tie as well or if the Ravens lose.
Notes: Polamalu, RB Mewelde Moore (right knee), OT Chris Scott (non-injury related) and DE Aaron Smith (triceps) did not practice Friday, while OLB Jason Worilds (knee) was limited. Along with Polamalu, OLB LaMarr Woodley (left knee) went through a full practice. … If Moore is not available, rookie Jonathan Dwyer could be activated for the first time this season.