The Observer/Reporter (and BTSC contributor) Dale Lolley wrote Thursday OLB James Harrison practiced Thursday,and is still not yet ruled out for Pittsburgh's Week 9 game against Baltimore.
Lolley reported Harrison said he hopes to play, but "that's up to the doctors to clear me for game play. We'll have another evaluation Friday or Saturday and see where we're at."
It would be a huge shot in the arm for the depleted Steelers defense to get Harrison back Sunday. Some of the best games of his outstanding career have been against Baltimore, including a 3-sack, 3 forced fumble, 10 tackle game in 2007.
Harrison, the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year, has missed the last four games after fracturing an orbital bone in his eye socket against Houston.
But even with Harrison in there, the Ravens shredded Pittsburgh's run defense for 170 yards in their Week 1 meeting. Lolley quoted NT Casey Hampton as saying "that won't happen again."
While an even bigger whipping came at the hands of Houston and Arian Foster in Week 4, Pittsburgh has shown since then they're capable of stopping the stretch runs and zone blocking Baltimore used often in their Week 1 win. Tennessee tried it, as did Arizona, but neither to any success.
The Steelers are riding a four-game winning streak, and head into the re-match with Baltimore with a head of steam. If for nothing more than just confidence and energy, the return of No. 92 to his ROLB position would be a big lift for the Steelers.