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Archer anxious to return and contribute

The running game may have rumbled for 264 yards at Carolina, but the Steelers will be happy to provide a running mate for Le'Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount if it comes to that.

And rookie running back Dri Archer, out since the opener against Cleveland due to an ankle injury, was a full participant in practice today for the third consecutive day and appears poised to return on Sunday against Tampa Bay.

"If he has a helmet then we'll definitely find something for him to do," offensive coordinator Todd Haley said.

Archer carried once for 4 yards and returned two kickoffs for 29 yards against the Browns. It wasn't much of an NFL debut, but it was enough for Archer to feel acclimated and up to speed in his new environment.

"I definitely feel like I'm involved and I can help out the team whatever way possible," he said. "It's always going to be another speed from preseason to the regular season, but it's just football."

Having seen what Archer can do with a football in the preseason, Bell is ready to welcome Archer back into the backfield.

"He's going to be another part of the offense," said Bell, the NFL's second-leading rusher with 315 yards and the league leader with 461 yards from scrimmage. "He's obviously an explosive guy. He's going to help this offense out a lot.

The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"That's a guy we missed, we've been missing that little extra spark. He's another added dimension to this offense. Even when he got hurt after the first half of the Browns game, you kind of saw the offense slow down a little bit. He's a big part of the offense this year."

Archer would bring speed and versatility to the attack should he get back into uniform against Tampa Bay. But no matter how it plays out, Archer will have had a better week this week than last.

"It feels good to be back out there practicing with my teammates," he said.

As for Friday's practice, Ike Taylor and Ryan Shazier did not work, and Ramon Foster (ankle) and Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related) were both limited. Everyone else was a full participant.

Out: LB Ryan Shazier (knee), CB Ike Taylor (forearm).
Questionable: G Ramon Foster (ankle).
Probable: RB Dri Archer (ankle), WR Darrius-Heyward Bey (illness), DE Brett Keisel (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), S Troy Polamalu (not injury related), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related).

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