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A quick look at the New England Patriots possible playoff opponents

27 December, 2017, 02:24 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Aug 20 2017 Pittsburgh PA USA Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison enters the stadium before playing the Atlanta Falcons at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots have been known to sign veteran players who find themselves on the open market, and they've done so again with Harrison.

This season with the Steelers, he has played just 40 snaps in five games, only 11 of those snaps have come since week seven. On his Instagram account, Harrison confirmed the signing by posting a photo with #Tom Brady with the caption: "Finally". The former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker reportedly visited the Patriots on Tuesday. He'll be one of the more historic players to play on the defensive side of the ball in Steelers history when it's all said and done; but on the cusp of 40 years old, his playing time had dwindled significantly with Pittsburgh this season. Harrison will also serve as insurance for the Patriots with Kyle Van Noy's health status still in doubt.

To make room for Harrison, the Patriots have released linebacker Trevor Reilly.

The Steelers and Patriots each secured a bye through to the divisional round, though New England can clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Jets in their regular-season finale on Sunday. Harrison would get a chance to play against his former team if both teams advance to the AFC Championship Game for a second straight season.

A win would give the Patriots the #1 overall seed in the AFC.

Both the Steelers and Patriots have earned a playoff berth and a bye-week in the upcoming National Football League playoffs. Harrison briefly retired in September 2014 following a forgettable 2013 season in Cincinnati but returned when the Steelers ran into injury trouble.


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