By Danny Cox

In a season that has been marred by injuries and other troubles, the Pittsburgh Steelers have had to persevere with second and third string players. The team started off 2016 with an impressive 4-1 record before losing four straight games and falling back to .500. Now, they’ve broken that streak and are tied for the AFC North with the Baltimore Ravens. Come Thursday, the Steelers will face a hungry Colts team that will be without their best playmaker, Andrew Luck. In order to win, the team will need to exploit the Colts’ offense, receive a huge game from top playmakers and avoid distractions. 

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With 10 games already in the books, the troubles have not let up for the Steelers. The silver lining is that through all of the team’s trials, and tribulations, there are some players who have risen above the rest and continue to be leaders for the team moving forward. In seasons like this, that is exactly what the Steelers need.

James Harrison Sets Records And Doesn’t Let Up

Last Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the Steelers broke a four-game losing streak with a 24-9 victory. During the game, veteran linebacker James Harrison became the team’s all-time leader in sacks. He racked up his 77.5 sack by taking down Browns quarterback Cody Kessler. 

In the middle of his 14th season, Harrison has nothing left to prove. However, the hard-nosed defensive player isn’t going to quit or slow down as long as he is still on the field. Early Monday morning, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin walked into the practice facility and saw Harrison in the weight room lifting weights. His actions further prove that he is a dedicated player who is committed to putting in the hard work. 

He is also a prime example of a player who is out there for the love of the game. That type of attitude is contagious and great for the locker room. The 38-year-old still performs like a college-aged kid, which is never easy for opposing offensive lines to defend against. Harrison is a true leader for the Steelers. 

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Running Back Karlos Williams Suspended 10 Games By The NFL

It has not been a good sophomore season for running back Karlos Williams who is facing his second suspension of the year. He has been suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy again.   

During his rookie season, he ran for 517 yards and seven touchdowns for the Buffalo Bills. Just as fans began to think they had the next great running back, he showed up overweight and out of shape for Bills’ training camp and was then suspended for four games by the NFL.The Bills released him soon after and he sat unclaimed on the waiver wire.

In October, the Steelers signed Williams to their practice squad, but he didn’t play a game for them this season. Since he violated the substance abuse policy a second time this season, he will be forced to sit for 10 games, which subsequently takes him out for the rest of this season and into 2017.

For the Steelers, it’s imperative that they avoid distractions, such as Williams’ suspension and focus on winning their division. They have a great opportunity for leave Indy with a win as long as they work hard, execute and stay focused. 

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