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Report: Heath Miller will miss at least first month of regular season

Heath Miller, Sean Spence

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller, left, and linebacker Sean Spence at their first practice during NFL football training camp at the team training facility in Latrobe, Pa. on Saturday, July 27, 2013 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)


Last week, reports out of Pittsburgh were that the Steelers were planning on activating tight end Heath Miller from the physically unable to perform list before the start of the regular season.

Doing so will allow the Steelers to get Miller, who is recovering from a torn ACL, in the lineup before the first six weeks of the season are up even if he’s unable to play when the season begins. He would be able to practice once off the PUP list, something that would be impossible if he remained there. That ability to practice might be the only benefit that the Steelers wind up realizing from activating Miller, however.

According to a report from Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Miller will miss at least the first month of the regular season and perhaps longer as he tries to get himself into game shape after such a long time on the sideline. The Steelers play four games in September, have their bye week in Week Five and then play the Jets in Week Six.

If Robinson’s report is correct, then Miller will only be back for that final game and anything more would run into the same time period that he’d be required to miss if he remains on the PUP list into the regular season. He’d still take up a roster spot, though, and that could be an issue with the Steelers thin at tight end.

With Matt Spaeth out for a couple of months and David Johnson’s health also uncertain, the Steelers would be rolling with David Paulson and inexperienced other options at tight end so one wonders if there might be a push to rethink things if Miller is indeed unable to answer the bell until the middle of October.