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Steelers sign OLB James Harrison to 1-year contract

Harrison replaces OLB Jarvis Jones, who was placed on IR-Recall Monday after suffering a wrist injury against Carolina in Week 3.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

He's not wearing a cape, but it seems like he should be. James Harrison signed a one-year contract with the Steelers, returning to the team with which he started his NFL career, less than a month after he retired from the NFL.

The story was confirmed Tuesday, a day after he hinted at it via Instagram, posting a video in which he asked his sons if they wanted their dad to play football. The initial reaction was lukewarm but, after their mom told them he would play for the Steelers and be at home more often, they both excitedly responded "YES!"

In that, they spoke for much of Steeler Nation, which blew up social media Monday after NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the deal would happen at some point this week. Immediately following that, it was confirmed the Steelers placed injured OLB Jarvis Jones on Injured Reserve - Designated to Return, freeing a roster spot and creating a void at the position.

It's assumed Harrison will be activated for Sunday's Week 4 game vs. the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but no word is yet available on how much playing time he'll receive.

The Steelers' run defense has been suspect this season, and Harrison could provide a boost in that regard, provided the 36-year-old is still as strong as he was throughout his career. He wasn't entirely effective in Cincinnati, the team he joined after refusing to take a pay cut with the Steelers after the 2012 season. Harrison was released by the Bengals this past off-season and, after not receiving an offer in free agency, formally announced his retirement in a press conference hosted by the Steelers Sept. 5.

Harrison is second in franchise history with 64 career sacks, trailing Jason Gildon's 77 (sacks weren't counted as an official statistic until the early 1980s). He's also second in forced fumbles (29), trailing Greg Lloyd by five.

Harrison also has perhaps the best defensive play in Steelers history, taking a Kurt Warner-thrown interception 101 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half in Super Bowl XLIII. The Steelers would win that game 27-23, capturing the franchise's sixth Super Bowl title and Harrison's second with the team.