Polamalu, a five-time Pro Bowl player, has not played since tearing the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 10 against Tennessee.
He was on the field Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but did not take part in a full practice.
A player returning from an injury usually must go through at least one full practice before the Steelers will play him. Polamalu could play against the Browns on Oct. 18.
Running back Willie Parker (left toe) was held out for the third consecutive day Friday and will not play in Detroit. He also missed the Steelers' 38-28 victory over San Diego last Sunday, when replacement Rashard Mendenhall ran for 165 yards and two touchdowns.