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Steelers OLB James Harrison held out of first practice to "protect him from himself"

The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got to work at training camp with their first official workouts of training camp. James Harrison worked out on the side, and according to Mike Tomlin, it was completely planned.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers finally got to actual football work Sunday, the day after the players reported to camp and completed the annual conditioning test. If you were a fan who attended the practice at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA you might have been looking for No. 92 James Harrison during 11-on-11 drills, but he was nowhere to be found. According to head coach Mike Tomlin, Harrison was held out for a reason.

Players like Harrison, who will turn 37-years-old this season, don't need the repetitions of training camp in comparison to players like Bud Dupree, Howard Jones, Arthur Moats and even Jarvis Jones. With an extended training camp due to the Steelers being selected to play the Minnesota Vikings, there is no need to have Harrison play more snaps than absolutely necessary.

Harrison wasn't the only one held out of practice, and the other player was safety Will Allen. Both Allen and Harrison are very aware of the team's defense, and the coaches know exactly what each player brings to the proverbial table. Fans shouldn't worry about the possibility of Harrison missing extended time as the veteran pass rusher has reported to camp 20-pounds lighter compared to when he re-joined the team in 2014 and declared his physical conditioning still as a "work in progress".

The players are back at work Monday for a 2:55 p.m. EST workout, which is open to the public, before having their first day off on Tuesday. Be sure to check back to BTSC early and often for the best coverage on the Steelers anywhere on the internet.