Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo might be ready to play Sunday against the Steelers, and head coach Bill Belichick said the three-time captain is "making progress" in his recovery from a left knee injury.
Mayo appeared to hurt his knee in Week 4 against the Raiders as he worked across the goal line and got his leg caught underneath offensive lineman Khalif Barnes, who fell through the line after trying to make a block. Mayo was on the field for three more plays, including one in the following defensive series, before hitting the ground in pain despite no direct contact to the knee on the penultimate play.
Mayo has participated in the Patriots' last three practices, and it's possible he could return to action Sunday in Pittsburgh, which would be four weeks after suffering the injury in Oakland. When Mayo went down, varying reports indicated he would miss four to six weeks.
As it stands, he has only missed five practices and two games, and he caught a break by getting a chance to recover during the bye week.
"Jerod is definitely getting better," Belichick said Monday. "He works hard, as he always does. We've had a few days away from here, so he's gotten an opportunity to get some more healing and treatment, and we'll see where he is when we get out on the field this week. But he's certainly making progress, and it would be great to have him back out there whenever that happens."