The Steelers are in the postseason for the first time in three seasons, and with it comes a serious dilemma.
The team has two veterans on the bench that could possibly be ready to return this week, one being cornerback Ike Taylor and the other being safety Troy Polamalu.
Of the two players, the future seems especially more cloudy for Polamalu, as it appears that he’s reached the end of his career.
The 33-year-old told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he’s not thinking about the future, but from the quotes it sounds like he’s ready to hang it up once and for all.
“It’s hard to talk years when you live day to day. That’s the thing football has taught me more than anything. Anybody who’s ever tried to make plans with me understands that. If you want to meet me in two weeks for lunch, I’m not making those plans. I live day to day.
“I’m not going to plan for our playoff game [next weekend] because I don’t know what’s going to happen to me this week. I respect time. I respect life enough not to make those plans.”
The safety has missed a few games this season with a knee injury, and even when he has played he’s clearly looked slower than he did when he was at his prime.
It’s a tough sell for the Steelers to put him on the field Saturday if he’s either not 100 percent, or if he just can’t play to the level where he use to.
Polamalu is not the type of player that will lie to get on the field, and he’s always been the type of player to put the team first.
If he’s going to and has decided to walk away from the game next year, it’s going to be tough for the Steelers coaches to put him on the field if he’s not healthy.
Look for it to be an emotional moment when the clock hits zero for the final time when it’s the Steelers final game. With all things considered, it feels like it will be the final time Polamalu will be in a Steelers uniform.