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11-27-2006, 05:48 AM
Polamalu, Ward banged up in loss to Ravens

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, November 27, 2006


BALTIMORE - Troy Polamalu left Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter with a knee injury that could be serious, Steelers coach Bill Cowher said afterward.

Polamalu said he planned to have an MRI taken on his left knee last night.

And the strong safety's knee isn't the only one that's a concern to the Steelers.

Hines Ward re-aggravated the left knee he hyperextended during the previous week's game, and the wide receiver left the yesterday's game in the second half.

How much either of the injuries affects what essentially became a lost season following a 27-0 defeat to the Ravens remains to be seen.

"I'm definitely optimistic about it," Polamalu said of his injury.

Ward said he re-aggravated his knee while running a pattern. Presumably, the lopsided score factored into his decision not to return into the game.

"My safety's an issue, too," Ward said after catching four passes for 33 yards. "I want to be out there, but I don't want to have a career-ending injury, trying to have too much heart."

Ward seemed perturbed that the Steelers didn't show enough of that in falling to 4-7.

"We had guys with their heads down -- very uncharacteristic of us," said Ward, who was quesionable in the days leading up to the game. "We didn't show up.

"That's why I (did) all of the extra stuff, so I could play, because I wanted to play in this game. We went out and laid an egg. They wanted it more than we did."

Polamalu led the Steelers with 10 tackles before leaving the game after a pile of players fell on his knee, he said.

The Steelers' top three tacklers yesterday were defensive backs -- cornerback Bryant McFadden and free safety Ryan Clark each had nine stops -- underscoring the Ravens' success moving the ball before going with a conservative offense in the second half.

The Steelers didn't force a turnover or sack Ravens quarterback Steve McNair, who completed 18-of-24 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown.

"All we can do is continue to persevere," Polamalu said. "We're just not making plays that we did a year ago."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_481482.html