The tight end returned from off-season back and forearm surgery two weeks ago, making 141 receiving yards from his first two games of 2013.
The Steelers head coach told reporters: "He is a special player. He does a lot of things for them. The vertical stuff down the field obviously, the red zone talents are what they are. He is a big component of the passing game.
"He has been back for a couple of weeks and I think he has been targeted 23 times. So, obviously we need to allocate some work to try and minimise his role in the game."
The sides meet at the Gilette Stadium on Sunday.