The Pittsburgh Steelers injury report doesn't start and stop with Ben Roethlisberger. Throughout the frenzy surrounding the franchise quarterback's status for the game vs. the Cleveland Browns is the absence of right OLB James Harrison. Harrison is dealing with a knee injury which will keep him out of the lineup against the Browns. Although this is far from a positive for the team heading into Week 10, it will certainly give a glimpse into the Steelers' depth at OLB without the man they call 'Deebo' in the lineup.
The Steelers will like deploy Arthur Moats as a "swing linebacker" where he will play both the right and left outside linebacker positions, spelling either Bud Dupree and/or Jarvis Jones. Anthony Chickillo will be active, but it is highly doubtful to see him in pass rushing situations much at this point in his rookie season.
The pass rush will be hindered without Harrison drawing the attention of an extra blocker on his half of the field, but it will be a great chance to see the younger linebackers try and prove they are capable without their leader on the field with them.
Jarvis Jones might be the player who can benefit most without Harrison in the fold. The fact he will get the majority of the snaps will give him a chance to prove his worth, but drawing the assignment of Joe Thomas is never fun, or easy, for pass rushers in the NFL. However, if he can provide pressure on Johnny Manziel, and set the edge in the running game, it would be a huge step in his development and proving all the doubters wrong.
Arthur Moats will again prove his versatility by playing both the right and left side, something he did regularly in 2014 behind Jason Worilds and Harrison, but Moats' ability has never been in question. He is an average pass rusher and solid against the run. Nothing to write home about, but serviceable in his ability.
It is the player who will play the left side Sunday which will be the one to keep an eye on. That player being none other than rookie Bud Dupree. Dupree has registered team-leading 4 sacks and is looking to improve on that number when Johnny Manziel drops back to pass at Heinz Field in Week 10. An increased number of snaps will give him every opportunity to show what he can do as a first round draft pick.
No one wants to see James Harrison out of the lineup. He brings experience, leadership and a tenacity which is nearly unparalleled. However, against the Browns on Sunday, the Steelers outside linebackers will get an opportunity to make a name for themselves without Harrison on the field. Whether they are capable of doing that, only time will tell.