Polamalu's teammates took the setback hard.
"I almost had a mental collapse when I saw him get hurt," Steelers safety Ryan Clark said. "Sometimes I think my love for him is a negative. When he's not playing, I want him out there. It's no indictment on the guys who come in. But part of why I play here and part of why I come back every year is to play with him."
Clark added, "You hurt selfishly, but more for him. I know how bad he wants to be out there. I know how hard he worked to get back. I know what type of treatments he went through. I saw him in the cold tubs at 6:30 when I got to work and he was already done with his workouts. And to come back and for that to happen is just terrible."
It's unlikely that Polamalu and linebacker LaMarr Woodley will play Thursday night at Tennessee. Woodley injured his hamstring in the first half Sunday and didn't return.
"Working on a short week is probably not a good sign for him," Tomlin said of Woodley.