PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker James Harrison was not in the mood Wednesday to discuss his creaky left knee, deferring until Friday an update on his status for the regular-season opener Sunday night at Denver.
While Harrison participated on a limited basis Wednesday afternoon, his teammates believed there was still a good chance that the league’s former defensive player of the year would be ready for the opener.
“I wouldn’t put anything past him,” second-year player Chris Carter said. “And that’s just in the short time that I’ve known him. He’s a great player, and if he can go this week I’ll keep learning by watching him play. I look forward to that, and also for my time to come in the future.”
Harrison spoke to the local media Monday and didn’t say much. He shooed away reporters in front of his locker Wednesday, but he had a previously scheduled session with the Denver media. Harrison actually was quite terse Wednesday with a female reporter from out of town.
“Get out of my face,” Harrison said, when he was pressed to continue talking because she would not be in town Friday. “Get out of my face. Peace out.”
If Carter is pressed into action, it’ll be a continuation of his progression. After a rough start as a rookie last year, coming off no spring practice and several hamstring injuries in training camp, he’s just glad to be healthy.
“It’s been a long road for me, but I’m a much better player now,” Carter said. “I had a torn hamstring to start last season, and we didn’t get any spring practice. So, I didn’t do much at all last year before the season began. I didn’t know the playbook, so my confidence level is five times higher than it was before.
“This year, I’ve been a starter for James, and I’ve come a long way. And I want to keep building on it. I don’t know if I’ll start or even if I’ll play. That all depends on James, but I’ll be ready to go either way. I can guarantee that I’ll be more than ready for it if my number is called.
“But if I don’t play, then it’s just another opportunity for me to learn from a great player, a Pro Bowl player like James Harrison,” Carter added. “I think I’ve put together a pretty good resume, from my play late last season and during this preseason, but now’s the time to add to it.”
Inside linebacker Larry Foote (ankle) was the only Steelers’ starter to sit out Wednesday’s practice entirely, but he said it was more a day off than injury-related and added that he would be back on a full-time basis later in the week.
Along with Harrison, running back Baron Batch (groin) practiced on a limited basis, while safety Ryan Clark, even though he will be out this week (non-injury related), defensive end Brett Keisel (ankle), running backs Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and Isaac Redman (ankle) and outside linebacker Jason Worilds (left wrist) all practiced on a full-time basis.
Offensive guard David DeCastro (knee) and inside linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee) did not practice at all this week and already have been ruled out for the Denver game.
For Denver, starting offensive guard Chris Kuper (forearm) did not participate in practice Wednesday.