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James Harrison rejoins Pittsburgh Steelers

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When veteran linebacker James Harrison announced his retirement a month ago, it should have come with the caveat that he would return to the gridiron if the Pittsburgh Steelers needed him in a pinch.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reports, via a source informed of the situation, the Steelers will be signing Harrison within the next few days.

Harrison, 36, had been pining for a return to Pittsburgh since March.

"If it weren't for (Brett) Keisel, Ike (Taylor) and Troy (Polamalu), I would not have signed back," Harrison said Tuesday, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

That desire went unrequited until the Steelers lost inside linebacker Ryan Shazier and outside linebacker Jarvis Jones -- their 2014 and 2013 first-round draft picks -- to an MCL sprain and wrist surgery, respectively.

With Jones sidelined for at least two months, Harrison will likely compete with former Bills linebacker Arthur Moats for playing time opposite edge rusher Jason Worilds.

Harrison hasn't been explosive off the edge for a couple of years now, but he knows Dick LeBeau's defense and can still stuff the run at a high level.

Assuming he's in football shape, Harrison's first two games will come against the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars in Weeks 4 and 5.

UPDATE: Harrison tweeted an Instagram of himself signing a contract Tuesday morning, making his return to Pittsburgh official.

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