Harrison out: James Harrison (knee, officially listed as questionable) is calling himself a game time decision but the Steelers coaching staff on Friday afternoon made the decision internally that they will be holding Harrison out of Sunday’s game.“I didn’t practice today,” Harrison said on Friday. “The knee didn’t feel too good. They want to let it rest and see if rest will help it and make the decision when the game comes.” “There was a little swelling, nothing major,” Harrison added. “It’s more irritation and a little pain. The soft tissue hasn’t healed yet. It’s just sore.”
Chris Carter has been informed that he is starting, while Jason Worilds and Brandon Johnson will be the primary backups at outside linebacker.
Steelers shooting for possible week 2 return for Mendenhall: Rashard Mendenhall (officially listed as doubtful) has also been ruled out internally by the Steelers and he won’t be playing in Denver. The Steelers believe Mendenhall has a good chance of being active for week 2 against the New York Jets.
Redman good to go but Dwyer could start: The Steelers feel Isaac Redman (ankle, officially listed as probable) is healthy enough to have a heavy workload for Sunday’s game but the emergence Jonathan Dwyer has the team planning for a 1-2 combo with Redman and Dwyer as the two figure to split reps in Sunday’s game. Dwyer took the bulk of first team reps all week in practice and a team source says head coach Mike Tomlin has become a big believer in Dwyer this summer. Chris Rainey the Steelers No. 1 returner, figures to see more time in the passing game than running the ball on Sunday when used in offensive formations. Baron Batch (groin, officially listed as questionable) participated in Friday’s practice and is healthy enough to play Sunday if the Steelers dress four running backs.
Brown nursing sore knee: Second year cornerback Curtis Brown has been nursing a sore knee since the Steelers preseason finale, and while Brown will play on Sunday, his lingering injury and the Steelers only carrying four cornerbacks led to the signing of second year corner DeMarcus Van Dyke on Friday. Van Dyke who has tremendous speed, was the Raiders 3rd round pick in 2011. To make room for Van Dyke, the Steelers placed David DeCastro on eight week injured reserved.
Foote, Keisel, Worilds to play: Larry Foote (ankle), Brett Keisel (ankle), Jason Worilds (wrist) are officially listed as probable and all three players will play. Foote and Keisel will be starting.
Sylvester, Clark out: In addition to James Harrison and Rashard Mendenhall, Stevenson Sylvester and Ryan Clark won’t be playing Sunday night. Ryan Mundy will start in place of Clark for the Steelers who at the safety position are already vulnerable against the pass when Clark is in the lineup. While there are question marks about Manning’s arm strength, the Broncos are surely going to take some chances deep. With Sylvester sidelined for another couple weeks, and James Harrison not playing, the Steelers are very thin at linebacker with Chris Carter now starting and Jason Worilds, Brandon Johnson, and Adrian Robinson as depth options for at least this week. Worilds should move into the starting ROLB spot if Harrison doesn’t play in week 2 as Worilds needs to get some game action reps.