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Steelers vs. Browns: Troy Polamalu practices, but is unlikely to play

Troy Polamalu has been a key part of the Pittsburgh defense for nearly a decade, but he has played less than six quarters in 2012.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Pittsburgh Steelers' safety Troy Polamalu practiced on Friday for the first time in seven weeks, but he is unlikely to play on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year was limited in practice, and his injured right calf was heavily wrapped.

Polamalu has appeared in just two games this year -- during Weeks 1 and 5 -- and has played less than six quarters. He is nursing a right calf injury. Although Polamalu is doubtful for Sunday, his return to practice is an encouraging sign that he could be back soon. Will Allen is expected to fill in once again at safety.

Even without Polamalu for most of the season, the Steelers defense has been strong. Pittsburgh ranks fourth in points allowed (19 per game), fifth in rushing yards allowed (89.8), and first in passing yards allowed (169.3). The Steelers are not likely to rush Polamalu back into action this weekend, as the Browns have one of the league's worst offenses.

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