Steelers LOLB LaMarr Woodley had a full practice Wednesday, and is expected to return to the field for the first time since Week 8.
It comes at a great time for the Steelers, who host 7-4 Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh defeated the Bengals 24-17 in Week 10 despite not generating a huge amount of pressure on rookie QB Andy Dalton. He sliced through the Steelers defense on a few drives, as fellow OLB James Harrison was left mostly on his own to get to the passer.
Woodley and Harrison have not played together since the early part of a Week 4 loss at Houston. Harrison fractured an orbital bone in his eye during that game, and missed four straight starts. Woodley missed Weeks 9, 10 and 12 (bye in Week 11) with a hamstring injury.
Woodley was on a tear before the injury, racking up at least 1.5 sacks in four consecutive games. He even had two sacks against the Patriots in Week 8 before suffering the injury. He was October's AFC Defensive Player of the Month.
Having the Steelers defense back to full strength will be critical in their late-season drive for both a playoff berth and possibly a division championship. Early week prognosis on SS Troy Polamalu is positive, meaning the Steelers could field their most complete defensive starting unit since the beginning of the season.