Opinions differ on the return of Steelers TE Heath Miller

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Whether Heath Miller ends up playing Monday against the Bengals or not, the Steelers will need considerably better blocking from its tight ends if they wish to contain a certain former Steelers linebacker.

Alan Robinson of the Tribune-Review wrote Tuesday Steelers tight end Heath Miller will practice with the team this week for the first time since tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 16 of 2012, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin isn't sure whether he will return to game action Monday when the Steelers take on the Bengals.

Jason La Canfora of CBS hinted Miller's return in Week 2 was expected. Robinson's report doesn't suggest very strongly that will be the case.

If nothing else, the fact Tomlin is remaining tight-lipped about it, and not confirming or denying the possibility Miller may play can be seen as something positive. He hasn't ruled him out, a week after Miller appeared as doubtful on the injury report.

With Kelvin Beachum having been listed as the starter against the Bengals "for right now," in Tomlin's words, and without Miller, the Steelers would be likely to start David Paulson and David Johnson against Cincinnati.

Steelers fans have seen James Harrison do nasty things to much better blocking tight ends.

It's just one of many concerns the Steelers will have heading into this game, but it's a significant one. Harrison didn't make much of an impact against Chicago in the Bengals' season opener, but the strongside linebacker has a score to settle with his old team.

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