Originally written on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 9/19/12

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 20: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers high fives fans as he walks off the field following the game against the Green Bay Packers on December 20, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Somewhat lost in the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1) 27-10 victory over the New York Jets was the fact that the team played without the combination of linebacker James Harrison (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) for the first time in their career. Yes, the players have missed games in the past, but that marked the first time both were out on the same day.Unfortunately, that may be the story again this week against the Oakland Raiders (0-2) in what could be an important early season tilt, as the Steelers need to continue their winning ways. Especially, when they are playing teams that they should be able to beat. However, this will be no cakewalk, as the Raiders are desperate for their first victory of the season.

Not only is it likely that the Steelers will be without Harrison, Polamalu, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester (knee) and running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee), the team now faces questions about the availability of three main contributors who will be limited in practice this week. At his weekly press conference, head coach Mike Tomlin stated that tight end Heath Miller (ribs), right tackle Marcus Gilbert (groin) and leading rusher Jonathan Dwyer (turf toe) would be battling the injury bug this week.

While injuries are never good, the facts that all three of these newly listed players have an integral part at potentially improving what has been an anemic rushing attack cannot come at a worse time. While the Raiders has struggled against the run, they have a potentially physical and imposing front seven, and the Steelers may need balance to keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger upright.

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