The earliest that Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith will return to the playing field is the Super Bowl, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.
Smith tore his triceps during a Week 7 win over the Miami Dolphins. Despite the severity of the injury, the Steelers hoped that he’d be able to return for the post-season and elected to not place him on injured reserve.
The 34-year old has been a full-time starter for the Steelers since the 2000 season, anchoring a usually stout run defense and registering 44 quarterback sacks.
In Smith’s absence, 2009 first-round pick Ziggy Hood has started opposite Brett Keisel, totaling 20 tackles and 3 quarterback sacks this season.