Oft-injured Fred Taylor hopes to play Sunday night after missing five games with two painful toes.
The Patriots running back might be better off waiting a week instead of facing the NFL's stingiest run defense.
Some of the league's best rushers have tried to overpower and avoid the Pittsburgh Steelers experienced defenders only to look ordinary. Now New England's mediocre running game gets its chance.
"I understand this team. I know them really well," Taylor said. "It's the same guys (with few exceptions). The personnel doesn't change. ... If the opportunity is there, I'd love it."
He returned to practice on Wednesday and was there again Thursday, both with limited participation. The toe injuries on each foot have improved and the Patriots will announce his status for Sunday's game on Friday. Taylor's absence added to the ever-changing look of the Patriots ground attack.