Friday, January 6, 2012
Return of Harrison-Woodley combination?
By Jamison Hensley
Is this the week where James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley play a complete game together? If so, it would be timely since Pittsburgh plays at Denver in Sunday's wild-card game.
The Steelers' top two pass rushers have been on the field together for only 23 percent of the team's defensive snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Injuries, as well as Harrison's much-publicized one-game suspension from the NFL, are a major reason why the Steelers' sacks slipped from 48 in 2010 to 35 this season. Harrison and Woodley each had double-digit sacks the past three seasons, but injuries stopped them at 9 apiece this season.
So, will Harrison and Woodley reunite again in the playoffs? Woodley, who has been sidelined for six of the past eight games with a hamstring injury, will start after full practices the past two days. But Harrison is expected to be listed as questionable after missing the past two practices with a toe injury.
Woodley and Harrison haven't played a full game together since Sept. 25 at Indianapolis.
"Both of those guys are big-time players for us," Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said. "To have both of those guys back for a playoff stretch would be wonderful."