Heath Miller, not Mike Wallace or Antonio Brown, was the Pittsburgh Steelers' most valuable pass catcher last season. That's why Miller's recovery from ACL surgery looms so large over the Steelers' 2013 campaign.
But the team's plan for Miller is starting to clear up. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote Tuesday that the Steelers want to bring the tight end off the active/physically unable to perform list before the start of the regular season, giving him time to work his way back into form.
The Steelers had a similar plan for running back Rashard Mendenhall last season. He wound up making his regular-season debut in Week 4. The Steelers have a Week 5 bye after facing the Minnesota Vikings in London, so Oct. 13 against the New York Jets might be a potential return date for Miller. If the Steelers left Miller on the PUP list to start the regular season, he would not be able to return until Week 7.
The Steelers are short at tight end with Miller's top backup, Matt Spaeth, out at least two months with a foot sprain. They might have to make some hard decisions at the position, but they aren't yet bringing in outside help.
Miller's value to the team often has been understated. His absence might show how much he truly means to Ben Roethlisberger's success.