PITTSBURGH (AP) — Heath Miller's surgically repaired right knee is good to go. Jonathan Dwyer's slimmed down body, not so much.
The Pittsburgh Steelers activated Miller, their two-time Pro Bowl tight end, off the physically unable to perform list on Saturday, clearing the way for Miller to play in the season opener against Tennessee on Sept. 8.
Miller tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee last December against Cincinnati.
He hinted last week he was close to a return, a major boost for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers try to bounce back from an 8-8 season.
The 30-year-old Miller caught a team-high 71 passes for 819 yards and eight touchdowns in 2012.
His presence takes some of the pressure off second-year tight end David Paulson, who has emerged as a legitimate receiving threat during the preseason but remains a work in progress when called on to block.
Dwyer led the Steelers with 623 yards rushing a year ago and entered training camp in a three-way battle with Isaac Redman and Le'Veon Bell for the starting job.
The former Georgia Tech star slimmed down in the offseason, dropping 25 pounds off his 6-foot frame hoping the lighter weight would make him quicker and more durable.
That durability appeared to give Dwyer the inside track for the top spot on the depth chart when Bell went down with a sprained right foot and Redman was slowed by a stinger.
Dwyer ran for a team-high 136 yards in the preseason, but that didn't stop the Steelers from acquiring first-round pick Felix Jones from Philadelphia as insurance.
Jones played well enough over Pittsburgh's final two preseason games to make Dwyer expendable.
Jones and LaRod Stephens-Howling, who missed time during camp with a minor knee injury, are the two healthiest members of the backfield heading into the opener.
While Bell's foot problem isn't considered too serious, coach Mike Tomlin has given no timetable for the second-round pick's return and Redman hasn't played since the preseason opener.