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83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 01:41 PM
Steelers' Ward called 'doubtful' for Sunday's game
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Coach Mike Tomlin said today that wide receiver Hines Ward is "doubtful" to play Sunday in Arizona because of a sprained right knee.

He said starting center Sean Mahan also has a sprained knee but that he was more likely to play because he is a lineman, not a receiver. Mahan was fitted with a brace during the game and did not miss a snap.

Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth, the only Steeler with two touchdowns, is probable after missing last week's game with a deep thigh bruise.

Ward's knee was injured in the third quarter of Sunday's game when it was hit by a helmet. Tomlin said he won't rule him out of the game against the Cardinals. The coach provided no other specifics on the two knee sprains.

Ward has missed only three games in his 10-year career. He missed his first game in 2005 with a hamstring injury, ending a streak of games played at 116 and games started at 83. He missed two last season in December because of a hyperextended knee.

Yesterday, he said he was "fine,'' as he walked into the Steelers facility but then walked out with a knee brace and on crutches.

If Mahan cannot play, either rookie center Darnell Stapleton, who was undrafted, or starting right guard Kendall Simmons would replace him.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07268/820391-100.stm

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 01:44 PM
Not exactly the greatest news in the world to hear, but Spaeth now being listed as "probable" cushions the blow to a degree. Oh well, rest him up this week and hopefully have him ready for Seattle.

klick81
09-25-2007, 01:53 PM
Dammit. Defenitely not great news, but sitting him out against Arizona is obviously the right thing to do. Time to step it up for the rest of the receivers.

verks36
09-25-2007, 01:54 PM
Ward i dont think will be to big being out. As long as we dont get down early we should just run all over the Cardinals.

Plus peronally i dont think the cardinals are going to be tough for us.

SuperSteelers76
09-25-2007, 01:56 PM
No reason for him to play and risk injuring it even more, let him sit get rested because seatlle will be a true test next week

BlastFurnace
09-25-2007, 01:58 PM
I'm more concerned about Mahan's injury than Ward's. We are deep at receiver and thin at the OL...especially Center.

alittlejazzbird
09-25-2007, 02:06 PM
Hines is probably going to move heaven and earth to try to play. You know how much these guys are looking forward to taking on Whiz and Grimm....

And yet, as well as Santonio has been playing, the thought of Hines being held out in order to get better doesn't terrify me as much anymore. It's a luxury to have choices like that!

Polly
09-25-2007, 02:19 PM
So who do you start at wide receiver if ward is out? Nate or cedric? I'd personally give nate the start, dudes a play maker we need to get him the ball. Also look for a lot of two-tight end sets if spaeth is back this sunday(which i think he will)

FourThreeMafia
09-25-2007, 02:29 PM
So who do you start at wide receiver if ward is out? Nate or cedric? I'd personally give nate the start, dudes a play maker we need to get him the ball. Also look for a lot of two-tight end sets if spaeth is back this sunday(which i think he will)

Wilson has more reliable hands. He isnt as dangersous once he gets the ball, but catching the ball is the first priorty. Wilson should start.

Lord Stiller
09-25-2007, 02:40 PM
I think its a good idea to sit Ward and let him fully heal

Nate has been getting a lot more playing time than Wilson, I bet he starts. He is also much better at downfield blocking than Wilson is.

I'm anxious to see what Willie Reid does as he should get some playing time. They might as well let Reid field a punt or two to see what he can do

fansince'76
09-25-2007, 02:43 PM
They might as well let Reid field a punt or two to see what he can do.

I'd rather they don't - I saw him bobble enough kicks during the preseason. Which is kinda why they traded a conditional pick for Rossum in the first place. I don't feel like watching them start drives inside the 10, or even worse, giving up possession entirely because he can't field a kick.

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 02:50 PM
They might as well let Reid field a punt or two to see what he can do

We are trying to win this game, not give it away. :wink02:

I'll take Rossum and his 98 yard return. :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 02:55 PM
A little more from Tomlin and on the injury situation(s)....

Ward has a sprained knee, is 'doubtful' for Sunday
By David M. Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wide receiver Hines Ward has a sprained knee and is "doubtful" for Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said today at his weekly news conference.

Tomlin has not ruled out having Ward for the game that pits him against former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt in a battle of wits between rookie head coaches.

"I've learned not to count a guy like Hines Ward out," Tomlin said.

Starting center Sean Mahan also sustained a sprained knee in the Steelers' 37-16 win over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday but he is expected to play against the Cardinals.

The Steelers may dress rookie center/guard Darnell Stapleton Sunday given Mahan's situation. Starting right guard Kendall Simmons can also play center if needed Sunday.

But, Tomlin said of Mahan, "we expect him to be fine."

Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth (thigh bruise) is questionable for the 4 p.m. game. Tomlin said Spaeth won't play against the Cardinals if he misses significant practice time this week.

Even if Ward and Spaeth don't play Sunday, Tomlin said it won't affect what the Steelers do offensively, particularly in the passing game.

"Injuries cannot be a factor in determining the quality of play," Tomlin said.

Tomlin tried to downplay the Steelers playing a team that has two coaches (Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm) that were finalists for the job that Tomlin got after Bill Cowher resigned last January.

The Cardinals also have a handful of former Steelers players on their team, including center Chukky Okobi and wide receiver Sean Morey.

Tomlin is at least aware of how much of a storyline the Cardinals-ex-Steelers connection will be leading up to the game.

After wrapping up his news conference, he smiled and said, "You guys are going to sell a lot of newspapers this week."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_529304.html

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:03 PM
PPG: Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth, the only Steeler with two touchdowns, is probable after missing last week's game with a deep thigh bruise.

Trib: Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth (thigh bruise) is questionable for the 4 p.m. game.

:huh:

Lord Stiller
09-25-2007, 03:16 PM
We are trying to win this game, not give it away. :wink02:

I'll take Rossum and his 98 yard return. :cheers:

I said return punts not kickoffs. Rossum hasn't had any good punt returns yet. They invested a 3rd round pick in Reid, its time to see if he can play.

Remember Randel El struggled at punt returns too for awhile

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:19 PM
Reid showed me that he's good at fumbling and bobbling the ball and not hitting the holes on returns (punts and kicks).

I'll take my "gamble" with Rossum. But, I guess we will see what Tomlin thinks this upcoming Sunday.

fansince'76
09-25-2007, 03:21 PM
I said return punts not kickoffs. Rossum hasn't had any good punt returns yet.

Rossum hasn't put any punts on the ground yet either. It was somewhat acceptable during the preseason, but it's not now.

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:22 PM
Rossum doesn't have to return one punt to the house for all I care. If he does, that's icing on the cake for me. Just don't fumble the ball and give the opposing team the ball on our 20 or 30.

fansince'76
09-25-2007, 03:23 PM
Rossum doesn't have to return one punt to the house for all I care. Just don't fumble the ball and give the opposing team the ball on our 20 our 30.

Or fair catch it inside the 10. :dang:

jjpro11
09-25-2007, 03:25 PM
wouldnt it be something if reid took a short pass to the house sunday? 80 yard WR screen pass for the TD. c'mon reid, show us your speed!

Lord Stiller
09-25-2007, 03:26 PM
You guys are making Reid sound like the next Colclough :jawdrop:

What he fumbled once in the preseason?

I like Rossum, but he is the short term fix. Reid could be the long term solution. He has been in street clothes the first 3 games and now that he will likely suit up, I'd like to see what he can do when finally given the chance. Some people respond by making big plays to prove they belong. Atleast he should see some action at WR anyways

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:26 PM
wouldnt it be something if reid took a short pass to the house sunday? 80 yard WR screen pass for the TD. c'mon reid, show us your speed!

Now him playing WR......no problem. The guy looked good in camp. Ran good routes, caught the ball, took the hits. He looked good.

Unfortunately, catching a punt is a little different.

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:29 PM
You guys are making Reid sound like the next Colclough :jawdrop:

It was looking like it there for a while. This is the same guy who's job was being questioned during TC this year. He was kept on this roster because of what the coaching staff saw in his receiving skills. It's not just the fumbles. He bobbled a few if I recall correctly.

It's all fine and dandy until your up by three with a minute to go in quarter #4 and the opposing team punts one off and your returner fumbles the ball on his own 30.

fansince'76
09-25-2007, 03:31 PM
You guys are making Reid sound like the next Colclough :jawdrop:

What he fumbled once in the preseason?

I like Rossum, but he is the short term fix. Reid could be the long term solution. He has been in street clothes the first 3 games and now that he will likely suit up, I'd like to see what he can do when finally given the chance. Some people respond by making big plays to prove they belong. Atleast he should see some action at WR anyways

He was given the opportunity to win the KR job outright in preseason - he had multiple opportunities and they still brought Rossum in. That tells me his potential as a KR isn't there. I would like to see him in at WR - he did show promise there during the preseason.

Lord Stiller
09-25-2007, 03:32 PM
Or fair catch it inside the 10. :dang:

LOL, yeah that was pretty pathetic.

But that's something you learn from 'EXPERIENCE' gained by 'PLAYING'

You all must have a short memory. Randel El did this same crap and is now a premier punt returner in the league.

Lord Stiller
09-25-2007, 03:33 PM
He was given the opportunity to win the KR job outright in preseason - he had multiple opportunities and they still brought Rossum in. That tells me his potential as a KR isn't there. I would like to see him in at WR - he did show promise there during the preseason.


Once again, I'm talking about returning punts here. not kickoffs

and im also excited to see him given a shot at WR. he is really tough and actually a good blocker just like Ward

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 03:39 PM
I'm talking about Reid, not Randle El.

The guy had the job locked if he wanted it. He failed to take it. That's called not taking advantage of an opportunity. Happens every year in the NFL during TC and preseason to rookies and second year players.

Giving Reid a shot in the REGULAR season so he can gain "EXPERIENCE" is a gamble I wouldn't be willing to take as we are cruising at 3-0 and I doubt Tomlin would be up for it either. Like I said, it's easy to say it until he fumbles on the 30 and we blow a game (a divisional game maybe?).

No thanks. Let's see if Tomlin gives him a shot this Sunday. If Rossum starts fumbling or bobbling the ball in his own territory, then I would entertain the idea. Until then, I'm going with the 'better safe than sorry' route.

The Duke
09-25-2007, 04:00 PM
Well, if he can't play then let Reid play, let all our young receivers of the future play together against an average secondary and see how they do. Just keep reid away from returning for now...he may have the talent, but he better concentrate on one thing for now

steelers06
09-25-2007, 04:29 PM
nooo, i hope he plays. im going to my 1st steelers game ever, and to see him not play will suck. but, whatever is best for later in the season i guess.

BozMan
09-25-2007, 05:11 PM
I think we should err on the side of caution with Ward's injury and rest him for this game. This is a non-divisional, non-conference game. Obviously we don't want to lose any games, but if we are going to drop a game due to injury, it's best that it be against an NFC opponent, as it won't matter as much for playoff tie-breakers.

That said, we should still be good enough to beat the Cardinals even without Ward.

It will definitely be a disappointment if Ward can't suit up against Whiz and Grimm, but we can't afford to risk losing him for the season when more important games against the Ravens, Bengals, and Patriots loom on the horizon.

LVSteelersfan
09-25-2007, 05:39 PM
Reid is a disaster as a punt returner. My guess is he won't play much and by next year he will be playing elsewhere. He doesn't match the quality of play that Tomlin is expecting of his players.

NateC
09-25-2007, 07:33 PM
Terrible Call,
Gotta Stick with the guys who prove the are up to the task.
Allan Is up to teh Task.
Najeh is Up to the Task,
Cedrick Is Up to the Task ,
They have shown When gametime hits, they can track the ball field it and Try to make a move if possible on Punt Returns.
Reid Maybe just needs A little more time to develop. I have no clue, i havent been in Latrobe to scout him out my self. so basically Ill trust In Tomlin, if he Says they Man can Play he plays. Look He made the damn team lol... I mean We gotta a lotta talent on our Practice Squad. and Reid is on the 53 man. this is his rookie year. his real one was done due to injury. give the man a little time to grow... If Tomlin says its time to go, I say best of luck to him. I bet he turns into something... when we cut guys they usually have enough talent to Show up Big somewhere else. Arizona thanks us , denver thanks up, Newengland thanks us, Houston thanks us, i mean the list goes on and on of talent we toss away for NOW talent , that shows up a year or 2 later looking like a somebody. I like our approach but i think i like Reid too... And i have no reason why.... Call it a hunch.