- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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For the first time in six years, the Steelers won't have either of their NFL Defensive Players of the Year in the starting lineup.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac, linebacker James Harrison (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) won't play Sunday against the New York Jets. Harrison and Polamalu are officially listed as questionable, but they haven't practiced all week.
There is less of a fear factor for quarterbacks facing Carter instead of Harrison, who has 58 career sacks and 27 forced fumbles. And the Steelers lack some unpredictability by not having the constantly roaming Polamalu, who has 29 career interceptions, nine sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Harrison hasn't played in a game since the playoff loss in Denver eight months ago."I feel great,'' Harrison told reporters."It's up to me if I play, because they don't know how I feel. I know how I feel. If I feel like I can go, I'll go. If I don't, then I won't.”
Harrison had arthroscopic surgery Aug. 15 on his left knee, and Polamalu strained his right calf late in Sunday night's loss in Denver.
Since the 2007 season, Harrison and Polamalu have missed a combined 25 starts but both have never missed the same game. During that time, the Steelers are 5-2 without Harrison and 9-9 without Polamalu.