Steelers’ Polamalu hopes to play in ’09
Troy Polamalu hopes to play at least one more game this season,
even though the slumping Pittsburgh Steelers have only a slim
chance of making the playoffs.
Polamalu has missed eight games and most of two others with a
pair of ligament injuries in his left knee. He hasn’t played since
the opening series against Cincinnati on Nov. 15 and probably won’t
play against Green Bay on Sunday, when the Steelers (6-7) will try
to end a five-game losing streak.
The five-time Pro Bowl safety said Monday he wants to return
“at least” for the regular season finale at Miami on Jan. 3, even
if the game is meaningless to Pittsburgh. The Steelers also play
Dec. 27 against Baltimore.
“Why not?” said Polamalu, who is wearing a large, protective
brace on the knee. “I’m a football player. I’m not a coach, I’m
not a cheerleader. What I love to do is play football and be out
there with my brothers. That’s why. It’s always been irrelevant for
me whether or not we go to the Super Bowl or playoffs. It’s
something I enjoy.”
Asked last week what it would take to play again this season,
Polamalu said, “A whole lot of healing (in the knee). A whole lot
Losing one of the NFL’s best defensive players has significantly
affected the Super Bowl champion Steelers. They are 4-0 when
Polamalu is on the field for at least one quarter – beating
Tennessee, Minnesota and Denver – but 2-7 when he is out or plays
only a handful of downs, as he did against Cincinnati.
Polamalu, who helped lead Pittsburgh to its second Super Bowl
victory in four seasons in February, missed the Steelers’ second
through fifth games with a sprained anterior cruciate ligament. He
sat out the last four games with a sprained posterior cruciate
ligament that was initially expected to be less severe than his
As the offseason approaches – one that is likely to arrive much
sooner than the Steelers anticipated when they were 6-2 – Polamalu
is looking for more off-field work.
Polamalu has signed with William Morris Endeavor Entertainment,
looking to expand on the commercial work he’s already done for Head
and Shoulders, EA Sports, Nike and Coca-Cola. He also hopes to do
some television work.
“It’s a lot tougher than it looks. It’s hard for me to come out
of my shell in the first place,” said Polamalu, who speaks softly
and is known for his lack of ego and pretentiousness. “It’s just
not you and the camera, it’s you and the 50 people behind the
camera. Not only that, it’s long hours just to do a little
commercial, it takes a lot of time.”