Coach Mike Tomlin said today that how Polamalu looks in practice Friday will determine whether he plays. He will not practice Wednesday or Thursday. Polamalu has had an Achilles-related injury.
Who knows how this will turn out - there have been conflicting reports about Polamalu's status throughout the last couple of weeks. But it isn't surprising that Polamalu might play. Since the Ravens won last week, the Steelers will need to win to pick up the second seed in the playoffs win a first-round bye, and stay away from the Patriots until the AFC championship game. If the Steelers had wrapped up the first-round bye last week, there's no way Polamalu would be playing. But with so much on the line, it's no surprise at all to see that he's considering it. If the Steelers jump out to an early lead, I'm sure that will be it for Polamalu, and if they don't, well, hopefully they win and Polamalu gets a week off to recuperate. The Steelers shouldn't need Polamalu to beat Cleveland, but at this point, they shouldn't take chances. This is a huge game.