Pittsburgh Steelers fans, who have seen their team struggle mightily in his absence, clamor to know when is Troy Polamalu is going to return.
This week they got some news.
Or did they?
It depends on which story you read.
ESPN.com (and assumptive other outlets) ran an Associated Press story on Troy Polamalu’s return, which cast doubt on the strong safety’s chances of making it back to 2009 this season.
The source cited was none other than number 43 himself:
Asked what it will take for him to play again this season, Polamalu said, ‘A whole lot of feeling. A whole lot of prayers. God willing, hopefully, I’ll be able to play. We’ll see what the doctor says.’
The article itself then talks about Troy’s delayed rehab and examination schedules. The article also emphasizes the point that Polamalu hasn’t been cleared to practices, much less play.
Fear Not Faithful in Steelers Nation
The faithful in Steelers Nation had no cause to fret for long, because the Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review ran an article yesterday headlined “Polamalu Inches Toward Return.”
Like the AP article, the sources is, you guessed it, none other than Polamalu himself! Troy told Brown he already could be playing but isn’t because:
I don’t think I would be a help at all to our team with my current condition. I think if I really felt like I could help this team out, I would be out there playing.
Polamalu also offered some insights into how his presence affects the team.
Who to Believe?
So Troy Polamalu could be playing now if it were absolutely necessary. Then again, he might not make it back for the entire year.
Steelers fans have to wonder, who to believe?
This is particularly difficult, since Polamalu was not only the prime source, but the only source for both stories. Given that Polamalu’s comment are not terribly consistent, either reporter could have cited a source directly or indirectly.
One must suppose that because Polamalu did tell Scott Brown that he could be playing now, perhaps it is safe to believe that 43 will make a return. The other arrow indicating in that direction is Ed Bouchette’s reporting.
When asked about the issue in his weekly chat, Bouchette shared with his readers that he had not heard any rumors that Polamalu would not return….