12-10-2009, 11:50 AM
STEELERS WR LIMAS SWEED VS. HIMSELF: It’s not supposed to be a serious hamstring injury, but it happened on the penultimate play last Sunday, and since the Steelers’ schedule had them playing the next game four days later, on a Thursday, Hines Ward seemed unlikely to be able to play against the Browns. Ward didn’t practice on Wednesday, but he did some running, and afterward he said, “I want to try to go out there and play, but I have to be smart at the same time. Usually it takes a week, and unfortunately it’s a short week.” It figures that rookie Mike Wallace will step in as a starter, and Coach Mike Tomlin addressed the issue at his news conference on Tuesday. “Mike is a reliable young guy. He doesn’t blow a lot of assignments, he’s proven repeatedly that the situation isn’t too big for him, the opportunities to play and make plays. I’d imagine that will continue, and I’d imagine that if Hines doesn’t play, (Wallace’s) role will be expanded in some form or fashion. But I also acknowledge that we may use Limas Sweed in some of the big-body things that Hines Ward does. Because Hines Ward is a unique guy, in terms of what he does for our football team, in both the run and the passing game. That may require more than one person to fill that void.” The Steelers still consider Sweed an immense talent, a player not to be cast aside at this stage of his development. But Sweed seems to fight himself when the ball arrives, and each of his dropped passes has been agonizing to watch. The NFL is not a bottomless pit of opportunities, and if Sweed wants to have a career as a receiver, he would be wise to take advantage of his next one.