Steelers LB James Harrison returning

Updated: September 13, 2012, 10:51 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pittsburgh Steelers four-time Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison will play in the team's home opener against the New York Jets on Sunday, according to a report.

Harrison
Harrison

Harrison, who sat out the entire preseason and the team's Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos with a left knee injury, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday that he will return for this weekend's game.

Coach Mike Tomlin had indicated earlier this week that Harrison, who underwent a minor procedure on the knee last month, had a chance to play against the Jets.

The 34-year-old Harrison has grown frustrated by lingering knee issues and has grown so tiresome of the subject he's promised to address it only one day a week during the season.

Harrison called himself a "game-time decision" before the Broncos game, but could only watch from the sideline in a yellow T-shirt and black shorts as the Steelers lost in Denver for the second time in nine months.

The Steelers could certainly use him on Sunday against the Jets (1-0). New York exploded for 48 points while whipping Buffalo in its opener even with new acquisition Tim Tebow playing a limited role. Tebow lit up Pittsburgh while beating the Steelers in the playoffs last winter as quarterback for the Broncos. He's firmly behind starter Mark Sanchez in New York, though Tomlin warned the Jets just showed "the tip of the iceberg" when it comes to their plans for the versatile Tebow this season.

Pittsburgh hasn't started a season 0-2 since 2002, though that didn't stop the Steelers from finishing 10-5-1 and making it to the divisional round of the playoffs. The Steelers haven't even lost consecutive games since a five-game slide in 2009. They pride themselves on their resilience, but will need it against New York.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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