James Harrison told press Thursday he'd be ready to go for the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 2 matchup against the New York Jets, but the veteran linebacker will in fact be out for the game.
Harrison has missed four straight practices as well as the season opener due to a knee healing more slowly than expected from arthroscopic surgery on June 15. The five-time Pro Bowler may be 34, but he's still a critical part of the Steelers' defense, registering nine sacks in only 11 games last year. Although the team won four of the five he missed, they looked outfoxed by Peyton Manning in a Week 1 loss to the Denver Broncos, as he was happy to tear apart a team that applied little pressure after a pair of first quarter sacks.
It's not clear when Harrison will be able to fully return, especially because according to him, he's ready to go. Until then, he'll continue to be replaced by Chris Carter. Although few expected much from an offense led by Mark Sanchez heading into the Jets' opener, his team put up 48 points on the Buffalo Bills, so they will score if the Steelers' defense is not up to par.
Troy Polamalu also missed Thursday's practice with a calf injury. His status for Sunday's game is unknown.