Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith is unlikely to play in Super Bowl XLV, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Sidelined since tearing a triceps tendon in Week 7, the Steelers have held off placing Smith on injured reserve with the hope that a deep playoff run would allow the 34-year old to return.
“You can’t help but get frustrated sometimes,” Smith said after Wednesday’s practice. “Just the fact it takes time; you can’t do anything to speed it up.”
An anchor of the Steelers’ run defense, Smith has over 400 tackles and 44 quarterback sacks in 156 games since he was chosen in the fourth-round of the 1999 NFL Draft out of Northern Colorado.
Smith finished 2007 (biceps) and 2009 (shoulder) on injured reserve, and is due $4.5 million in 2011, the final year of his contract.
2009 first-round pick Ziggy Hood has replaced Smith in the starting lineup, totaling 20 tackles and 3 quarterback sacks during the regular season, and 9 tackles and a sack thus far in the playoffs.