Polamalu is "encouraged" by an MRI test he had Tuesday, but he doesn't anticipate practicing this week. Asked if he needs a week of practice before playing again, he said, "I would think so."
Anatomy of a Play
"I've tried everything -- running, lifting, rehab," he said Wednesday.
Last week, Polamalu said he hoped to play in the Jan. 3 regular-season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
Since Polamalu sprained his posterior cruciate ligament, the Steelers (7-7) have won only one of the six games he hasn't finished. They were 2-2 when Polamalu missed four games early in the season with a sprained anterior cruciate ligament.
"I don't believe that at all," Polamalu said when asked if his absence is hindering the Steelers' ability to close out games. "I've been part of a lot of defenses here, defenses that lost games in the fourth quarter. I don't think one man makes that big of a difference. There's not one player who is irreplaceable."
"I think everybody feels a little better this week," Polamalu said. "We've got to get our confidence back, get in those situations and win in those situations."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press