The Steelers’ struggling offense could get a boost against the Bears on Sunday night if tight end Heath Miller returns.
On a conference call with the Chicago media Wednesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Miller is scheduled to participate fully in practice.
“He’s going to work and we’ll base his availability on how he responds to that work,” Tomlin said.
Miller had 71 catches for 816 yards and eight touchdowns last year, setting career-high marks in receiving yards and scores. He tore his ACL in Week 16.
“Obviously he’s a quality veteran player that knows how to play, that is a very good player,” Tomlin said about the value of Miller’s potential return. “[He] has a great rapport with our quarterback and fits well in our schemes. What he’s capable of speaks for itself. His health is first and foremost in determining his availability.”
Pittsburgh’s passing offense is ranked 26th in the league through two weeks. David Paulson has three catches for 49 yards at tight end in Miller’s absence.
“To me, he’s the best tight end in the game,” said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “He helps in the run game, obviously helps in the pass game and just having another guy who’s been there will help.”
Miller had three catches for 27 yards the last time the Steelers and Bears played one another in 2009. Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph had three catches for 42 yards, including a 20-yard touchdown catch against the Bears on Sunday. Bengals tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert combined for 10 caches for 92 yards vs. Chicago in Week One.