Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Although the Steelers are a “mess” of sorts at the moment, they did witness something positive yesterday when Pro Bowl tight end Heath Miller practiced without restrictions.
"To make progress you have to add a little more to see how you respond, whether positively or negatively, … I guess that will let you know if you’re ready to take the next step. Obviously today was a heavy day. So we’ll see how it feels (Friday) and go from there."
Miller’s return from the gruesome knee injury he suffered in Week 16 of last year against the Bengals would be an enormous boost for Pittsburgh’s offense right now. Heath’s replacements in the forms of David Paulson and David Johnson have done little to inspire faith in the passing game, and his absence as a run-blocker has been sorely missed as well.
Optimism is running high right now in “Steeler Nation” for Miller’s potential return this weekend against the Chicago Bears. I certainly cannot say I blame those who are excited to see number 83 back in the lineup. Replacing Miller’s productivity as a pass-receiver has been (2012: 71 catches, 816 yards, and eight touchdowns) an enormous challenge, and Pittsburgh definitely needs their most effective “red zone weapon” back in the lineup as well.
Thankfully for the Steelers, there is a strong chance that Miller will be suiting up on Sunday night at Heinz Field. In fact, Mark Kaboly of The Pittsburgh Tribune Review tweeted the following earlier today:
How effective that the Pro Bowl tight end can be only nine months after he tore multiple ligaments in his knee is an enormous question. Nevertheless, Miller unquestionably provides Pittsburgh’s offense with their best chance to succeed when he is in the lineup. Although there is no “official word” on whether or not Heath will play this Sunday night, his presence alone should give the Steelers a large boost.
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