Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Updated: October 5, 12:55 PM ET
James Harrison has broken orbital bone
ESPN.com news services
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin ruled James Harrison out for Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans because the outside linebacker will undergo a surgical procedure Wednesday for a broken orbital bone around his right eye.
Harrison, a four-time Pro Bowler and 2008 AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, will be out indefinitely and there is no timetable for his return.
"Needless to say he is going to be out for a number of weeks," Tomlin said Tuesday. "I will have more details regarding that injury and the rate of recovery and so forth after he has the surgical procedure tomorrow to get that fixed."
On his Twitter page, Harrison seemed to be upbeat despite the injury, writing, "I told y'all it's wasn't a concussion!! Lol I'll be ok in time."
After Sunday's game, he tweeted details on how he got hurt: "I don't have a concussion, my forehead pad in my helmet came down and hit me in the eye when I made contact with the tackle."
Tomlin said Lawrence Timmons will take over at Harrison's spot at right outside linebacker. Larry Foote will start at inside linebacker for Timmons.
"We anticipate those guys being able to play winning football for us," Tomlin said.
Tomlin said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger didn't suffer a broken bone in his left foot and he anticipates Roethlisberger should be able to play Sunday.
"Ben had his foot X-rayed, MRI, thankfully nothing is broken there," Tomlin said. "It is a sprain. It may limit him at the early portions of the week. We anticipate him being able to participate in this football game."
Tomlin said the Steelers would have a "package of plays" ready for backup quarterback Charlie Batch just in case Roethlisberger can't play.
Roethlisberger sprained his left foot in the fourth quarter of a 17-10 loss to Houston. An MRI exam on Monday revealed no significant damage but Tomlin said his quarterback could be limited in practice early in the week.
Roethlisberger has spent the first quarter of the season under siege, getting sacked 14 times and knocked around others. The three biggest hits he's absorbed this season came on plays in which he got the ball out before getting punished. Twice he's been drilled in the knees by defensive linemen after releasing the pass and on Sunday his foot got crunched during Pittsburgh's penultimate possession.
Meanwhile, defensive end Aaron Smith, who also was injured in the game against the Texans, has a mid-foot sprain and might miss Sunday's game vs. the Titans.
Information from ESPN.com's John Clayton and The Associated Press was used in this report.