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Report: Steelers will sign OLB James Harrison this week

James Harrison will return to Pittsburgh, according to NFLN's Ian Rapoport.

Al Bello

James Harrison is returning to Pittsburgh.

In the wake of a potential season-ending injury to outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, speculation is swirling Monday night the Steelers have reached out to James Harrison, not even a month after hosting him for a retirement press conference and, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, he will sign a contract "over the next few days."

The stage couldn't be set in any more of a dramatic fashion. Harrison was released after the 2012 season after being offered a pay cut to stay. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals and played out the 2013 season before being released.

After failing to receive an offer in free agency, Harrison announced his retirement Sept. 4.

Things changed.

The Steelers lost outside linebacker Jarvis Jones - the player once thought to be the team's replacement for Harrison - to a wrist injury that led the team to place him on Injured Reserve - Designated to Return. That will put Jones out through mid-November, and clears a roster spot.

Rapoport's news appears to be well-placed with Jones's recently announced status. The team will need a reserve defensive end behind Jason Worilds and Arthur Moats, and Harrison knows the Steelers' defense inside and out. It all leads right to the return of The Silverback - one of the most revered Steelers defensive players in history.