LATROBE, Pa. -- James Harrison's agent told the Beaver County Times he thought the Steelers would remove the five-time Pro Bowl linebacker from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list in a week or two and see how the knee reacts before pursuing surgery.
The agent thought wrong. Surgery wasn't in a week or two. By the time the Steelers were having lunch at St. Vincent College, Harrison had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
In other words, the Steelers put Harrison on their timetable and not his own. If Pittsburgh had waited a week or two before scheduling surgery, Harrison would have been in serious jeopardy of missing the season opener at Denver, which is 25 days away. Now, by taking charge of Harrison's injury after allowing him to go at his pace for the entire offseason and most of training camp, the Steelers increased their chances of watching Harrison drive Peyton Manning into the ground, which is exactly what Manning didn't want to hear.
Head coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't lay out a timeframe of when he expected Harrison to get back on the field but he said, "It shouldn't be long."
The Steelers gave Harrison time to work out the injury. He didn't practice this offseason because of an inflamed knee and sat out all of training camp, which wraps up this week. The Steelers, though, couldn't wait any longer. Harrison's backup, Jason Worilds, is considered week-to-week with a hand injury. That meant Chris Carter, a fifth-round pick from a year ago, was working with the starters.
The only position that has been hit as hard as outside linebacker has been running back. Injuries to Isaac Redman (groin), Jonathan Dwyer (shoulder), Rashard Mendenhall (knee) and John Clay (thigh) have left the Steelers with two healthy ball carriers: Baron Batch and Chris Rainey. Batch was the iron man of Wednesday's practice, taking nearly every snap in team drills.
Redman, who said he was having an MRI on Thursday morning, attempted to practice but fell down to the ground in pain. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said early Wednesday afternoon that he didn't know that Redman was having an MRI. Tomlin declined to get into specifics about Redman's injury outside of calling it "minor."
"He's working in a limited capacity in preparation for the game," Tomlin said. "That's all I got in regard to that. He shouldn't be talking to you about MRIs."