Steelers' Smith has slight chance of playing on Saturday
By Scott Brown
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Aaron Smith won't practice this week, but the Steelers are holding out hope that the veteran defensive end will be able to play, albeit in a limited capacity, on Saturday against the Ravens.
Smith, who is trying to return from a partially torn triceps, will have an MRI taken on his left arm Friday.
The scan, Smith said, will determine where his arm is in the healing process. And if the MRI brings good news, there is an outside chance that Smith could suit up for the Steelers' AFC divisional playoff game.
"It's nice because it's been a long journey up to this point," Smith said. "The guys have done a great job of doing what they had to do to carry us this far. I'd just like to get another opportunity to contribute."
Smith, who dressed for practice Tuesday but did not participate in it, said conditioning won't be a problem if and when he does return to the playing field.
Smith started lifting weights last month. The 6-foot-5, 298-pounder has been running up to five days a week since he started working his way back from the injury he sustained in an Oct. 24 game in Miami.
"I'm probably in better shape than when I got hurt," Smith said.
The Steelers' defense has held up without one of its top players, but inside linebacker James Farrior said Smith's return would give the team a "big boost."
"He's one of the keys to the defense," Farrior said. "We did well this year a lot of games without him, but he takes us to a whole (different) level."
"I'm not going to sit here and say, 'I wish I could have played last week, I really missed football last week,' because I didn't. I got to watch it on TV and I enjoyed it, but I got to wake up with no pain. I got to play armchair quarterback, and that was pretty cool."
Steelers safety, on the Steelers' bye week
by the numbers
12: Catches that Ravens wideout Anquan Boldin had in two regular-season games against the Steelers
27: Receiving yards Hines Ward had in two games against the Ravens this season
Scott Brown can be reached at email@example.com