The Pittsburgh Steelers might not get Aaron Smith back until the Super Bowl, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
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Smith, an elite 3-4 defensive end and one of the key cogs on Pittsburgh's defense, tore his triceps early in Week 7 at Miami and has not played since.
The Steelers knew at the time that Smith's injury could have been considered season-ending, but given his importance to the team, they kept a roster spot open for the playoffs and did not place him on injured reserve. He is virtually certain not to face the Baltimore Ravens this week and would be doubtful to play in the AFC Championship Game as well, according to the source.
"The Super Bowl would probably be the most realistic timetable," the source said. The Steelers would have to win two more games to get there, and then would get the pre-Super Bowl bye week as well.
Smith resumed weight lifting weeks ago but has only been able to practice thus far on an extremely limited basis.