- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger’s sprained left foot might be the least of the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ problems.

Coach Mike Tomlin expects his quarterback to play Sunday when the struggling defending AFC champions host Tennessee (3-1).

The same can’t be said for linebacker James Harrison, who needs surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone near his right eye and will be out “for a number of weeks.”

Harrison sustained the injury in the third quarter of Pittsburgh’s 17-10 loss to Houston last week when the forepad in his helmet came down and struck him in the eye as he collided with a Texans player.

The 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year returned to the game but was ineffective at times as Houston drove the length of the field to score the winning touchdown.

Harrison, 33, groused the Steelers (2-2) “stink” afterward but gave no indication of significant damage. Tomlin indicated he won’t know how long Harrison will be out until after the surgery.

The Steelers will slide Lawrence Timmons over from his inside linebacker spot to replace Harrison and start veteran reserve Larry Foote in Timmons’ place.

Freeman, Blount shine in Buccaneers’ victory

TAMPA, FLA. — Josh Freeman threw for 287 yards and a touchdown, and LeGarrette Blount ran for 127 yards and a score in the Tampa Buccaneers’ 24-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Monday night in prime time.

Freeman also ran for a touchdown early in the game. Pierre Garccon scored on an 87-yard pass play in the second quarter for the Colts.

Around the league

BROWNS: Return specialist Josh Cribbs suffered a sprained knee in Sunday’s loss to Tennessee and was one of three Cleveland starters not practicing because of injuries. Also missing were Pro Bowl center Alex Mack (appendectomy) and cornerback Joe Haden (sprained knee).

SEAHAWKS: Seattle placed linebacker Matt McCoy on injured reserve and signed linebacker David Vobora. The Seahawks also released fullback Eddie Williams and signed defensive end Jameson Konz off the practice squad.