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James Harrison, Troy Polamalu ruled out for Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will take the field without two former defensive MVPs. Again.

Linebacker James Harrison (knee) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) will miss their second consecutive game when the Steelers face the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, The Associated Press reported. Neither player practiced Friday.

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Chris Carter replaces Harrison, who had surgery Aug. 15, and Ryan Mundy will step in for Polamalu.

Running back Rashard Mendenhall also is out as he continues to rehab a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Tight end Health Miller (rib cage soreness) practiced Friday and is expected to play against the Raiders.

Fortunately for the Steelers, the Raiders aren't exactly an offensive juggernaut. The Raiders averaged 13.5 points through the first two games of the regular season, which includes a 35-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins last week. In Week 2, Pittsburgh dominated the New York Jets 27-10 without Harrison and Polamalu.

The Steelers duo will have an extra week of rest with a Week 4 bye. Coach Mike Tomlin needs both players as close to 100 percent as possible because the Steelers play twice in five days against the Philadelphia Eagles on Oct. 7 and then on "Thursday Night Football" against the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 11.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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