The Pittsburgh Steelers began preparation this week for their season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens Sunday at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium, and outside linebacker James Harrison was on the field like any other week.
Still, Harrison said that he probably is playing at only at 75-80 percent, as far as his back is concerned after two offseason surgical procedures within a week. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t buying what Harrison was selling.
“I’d imagine that he’s sand-bagging,” Tomlin said. “James Harrison likes to play, and we expect that James Harrison might play. … Jason Worilds has improved quite a bit, (and) Lawrence Timmons is an option (if Harrison’s back acts up).
“But, more important, I expect James Harrison to be James Harrison. And I expect him to play against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday.”
Harrison said that he’s not worried about his back for this game, because he’s feeling much better than he did a couple weeks ago. But he didn’t use any newfangled methods to get that way. He went to an more ancient remedy.
“I always get acupuncture,” Harrison said. “I get acupuncture for every game now, and it lasts maybe 4-5 hours. I started doing that last year, and I think that’s really the thing that got me through (the last season) with my back the way it was.”
If Harrison plays as well as he did last season with back problems, the NFL better watch out when he finally gets healthy.