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Are Steelers turning to Harrison?

Posted Oct 12, 2017

Butler: 'You can imagine what might happen'.

Outside linebacker James Harrison has been inactive for the past two games but his status may be about to change.

“It’s always good to have James Harrison when you’re playing Kansas City and let their offensive tackle see him, I’ll just say that,” defensive coordinator Keith Butler said today after practice.

Harrison had six tackles (five solo), three tackles for a loss, two quarterback hits and one sack in the Steelers’ 18-16 playoff victory on Jan. 15 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Harrison also drew a holding penalty on Chiefs left offensive tackle Eric Fisher on Kansas City’s attempt at a game-tying, two-point conversion with 2:47 left in the fourth quarter.

Butler wouldn’t clarify what “see him” meant as it related to Harrison and “their offensive tackle.

“See him, I’ll leave it at that,” Butler said. “You can imagine what might happen.”

The Steelers allowed 222 rushing yards in a 23-17 overtime loss on Sept. 24 at Chicago and 231 yards on the ground in last Sunday’s 30-9 loss to Jacksonville.

Harrison, 39, has played seven defensive snaps this season (four in a 21-18 win on Sept. 10 at Cleveland and three at Chicago).

He was dressed for but didn’t play in the Steelers’ 26-9 win over Minnesota on Sept. 17.

Harrison split time at right outside linebacker with Jarvis Jones last season and started one of the first nine games.

Harrison started the next five games in succession after the Steelers had allowed 127 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 14 and 32 yards by running back Ezekiel Elliott in the final two minutes, in a 35-30 loss to Dallas on Nov. 13 at Heinz Field.  

Harrison also started all three of the Steelers’ playoff games in 2016.