Odds are now outstanding the Steelers will get back the franchise's last two Defensive Players of the Year, outside linebacker James Harrison (2008) and Troy Polamalu (2010). Both players made it through their second day of full practice, strongly suggesting they will be ready to play in Week 5 Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.
As much of SteelerNation exhales, concerns now turn to conditioning and acuity. Harrison has only played in 12 of the Steelers' last 20 games, dating back to 2011, with his last game coming Jan. 8. Polamalu played in Week 1, but hasn't since then.
The experience gained by the reserves who played over Harrison (Jason Worilds and Chris Carter) and Polamalu (Ryan Mundy) will serve well in terms of depth down the line, but simply, neither Harrison nor Polamalu are replaceable.
Rashard Mendenhall will also most likely suit up Sunday, making his return from a torn ACL at the end of 2011. Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester will also likely play, having practiced all week.