Polamalu practices, feels no discomfort
• As planned, safety Troy Polamalu participated in his first practice Friday after missing the first two practices of the week with what was described as an Achilles injury he suffered against New England. “That’s what the formula has been so far,” said Polamalu, who said he felt no discomfort afterward. Asked if he expected to play against Oakland on Sunday at Heinz Field, Polamalu replied, “Obviously, it’s up to coach (Mike) Tomlin. We’ll leave that decision up to him.”
• Defensive end Nick Eason returned to practice yesterday after sitting out Wednesday and Thursday because of illness. Defensive end Brett Keisel (hamstring) participated in a full practice for the first time all week and is questionable. He said after practice he will probably be a gametime decision. Safety Will Allen (concussion) will miss his second consecutive game. Raiders tight end Zach Miller says he will play despite an injured foot. Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (sprained right ankle), defensive tackle John Henderson (right foot) and receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) are also listed as questionable and will be game-time decisions.
• Wide receiver Hines Ward is well off last year’s pace, when he led the team with 95 receptions. This season after nine games, Ward is tied with Mike Wallace for the team lead with 30 receptions. Ward’s streak of recording at least one catch in 186 consecutive games ended against New England. He suffered a concussion late in the first quarter and didn’t return. “People are going to say statistically we’re down. Statistically, everybody’s down,” Ward said. “Mike’s killing it. He’s getting huge opportunities and making plays. When he’s going deep like that, he’s going to get a chance to make some big plays. The more and more he continues to grow, the more and more we continue to complement each other and open things up for everybody else.”
• Outside linebacker James Harrison was a late addition to last week’s injury report prior to the New England game with back spasms. He finished the game with nine tackles. Harrison participated in yesterday’s practice, the final practice of the week and the one which usually determines a player’s availability for the upcoming game. “I’m doing fine,” Harrison said. “Everybody deals with pain. That’s no excuse.”