Miller likely to play Sunday
IN this file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller (83) warms up before a game. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
PITTSBURGH – Almost nine months to the day after suffering a torn ACL in a loss to Cincinnati, Steelers tight end Heath Miller is set to make his return to the lineup in their game Sunday night against Chicago.
Miller made it through an entire week of practice for the Steelers (0-2) and is listed as probable to see his first action of the season against the Bears (2-0).
The return of Miller, the Steelers’ MVP and leading receiver last season, could boost an offense that has scored only 19 points.
“I think he is one of the best, if not the best, tight ends in the league, from a full-position outlook – blocking, pass catching, just overall football awareness, toughness. The tenacity that he brings to the team is hard to replace,” said Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. “We will rerun tapes of him turning a cornerback or a linebacker, putting somebody on their back on one of these receiver screens. We keep running it back and forth just to say, ‘Look at that. That’s a true pro finishing with the nastiness and toughness that you need.’ You can’t have enough of those guys. When one is missing, you want them back.”
Miller’s return wasn’t the only good news for the Steelers. Rookie running back Le’Veon Bell, out the past month with a sprained foot, made it through a second consecutive practice Friday without issue. Bell, listed as a co-starter at running back with Isaac Redman, is listed as questionable to play.
“It’s definitely getting closer,” said Bell, a second-round draft pick.
After being limited Wednesday and Thursday with a heel injury, rookie linebacker Jarvis Jones returned to practice Friday and also is probable. Jones made his first start last week against Cincinnati.
Cornerback Cortez Allen, who sat out the Cincinnati game with a sprained ankle, is out again this week.