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Steelers' Troy Polamalu feeling better with time off

Gregory Shamus - Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers' Troy Polamalu has missed the team's past two games against the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders with a calf injury, but appears to be nearing a return. Polamalu spoke a bit about the injury this week and where he stands as far as a return to action:

"It feels much better," Polamalu said.

The reference was to the calf Polamalu said he injured in practice the week leading up to the season opener in Denver, an injury that kept the seven-time Pro Bowl safety out of the past two games for the Steelers.

Polamalu, though, returned to practice Tuesday, worked both days with the first-team defense and said he is "optimistic" he will play when the Steelers return from their open week to play the Philadelphia Eagles Oct. 7 at Heinz Field.

The Steelers' defense has clearly missed Polamalu and the team allowed Carson Palmer to throw three touchdown passes in leading the Raiders to an unexpected victory in their last game. With the extra time off this week, the Steelers' bye probably couldn't have come at a better time as they prepare to face the Philadelphia Eagles this weekend.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.