View Full Version : Steelers Notebook: Injury ends Ward's reception streak

11-15-2010, 06:48 AM
Steelers Notebook: Injury ends Ward's reception streak
Monday, November 15, 2010
By Ray Fittipaldo and Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hines Ward's club-record streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception ended Sunday night against the Patriots.

Ward was knocked out of the game in the first quarter with a neck injury and did not return.

On the play Ward was injured the officials ruled that he had made a catch, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick challenged the ruling on the field. It was overturned, and Ward had to be helped off the field by the Steelers' trainers.

Ward's streak started Nov. 9, 1998, against the Green Bay Packers. It had been the longest active streak in the league and the third-longest in NFL history.

Jerry Rice owns the all-time record with receptions in 274 consecutive games. Ward was only five games shy of the being No. 2 all time. Former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison had catches in 190 consecutive games.

The receiver with the longest active streak now is Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez with 155.
Harrison starts

Linebacker James Harrison started despite having back spasms Saturday. The Steelers had listed him as questionable before the game.

Harrison, the Steelers' sacks leader with seven entering the game, was credited with one tackle and one quarterback hit in the first half.

It was a bit of good news for the Steelers, who were hit hard by the injury bug last week against Cincinnati. They lost two of their starting linemen last week. Left tackle Max Starks was lost for the season with a neck injury and left guard Chris Kemoeatu sustained a knee injury that kept him from being in uniform Sunday night.

Ramon Foster, a second-year player out of Tennessee, started at left guard and Jonathan Scott, a free agent signed in the offseason, started at left tackle.

The offensive line had some trouble protecting Ben Roethlisberger. They allowed three sacks in the first half to a Patriots defense that had recorded only 13 in their first eight games. They were only slightly more effective in the running game in the first half. The Steelers had 69 yards rushing at halftime, although 34 of those yards came on one run by Rashard Mendenhall. The Steelers rushed for 35 yards on their other 11 carries in the first two quarters.

The Steelers also played without defensive end Brett Keisel, who missed the game with a hamstring injury. Nick Eason started in place of Keisel.
A first

New England did something against the Steelers no opponent had been able to do this season when its offense scored a touchdown on its opening drive, a 19-yard pass from Tom Brady to Woodland Hills High School graduate Rob Gronkowski.

That 70-yard drive on eight plays was the first time an opponent scored a touchdown on its first drive against the Steelers. Until that happened, opponents had scored just two field goals on eight opening drives.

The Patriots also became the first opposing team to score a touchdown on the first drive of the second half. The Steelers had allowed two other teams to kick field goals on their first drives of the second half.
A happy homecoming

Gronkowski, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound rookie from Arizona, caught two more touchdown passes, one on the opening drive of the third quarter to give the Patriots a 17-3 lead and another with 4:23 left to play to boost the lead to 36-18. Gronkowski has been an effective receiver for the Patriots. It was his team-leading fourth, fifth and sixth touchdown receptions of the season.
Masters of chip shots

When Jeff Reed kicked a 22-yard field goal in the second quarter, it was the eighth time he was called on to do so this season after the Steelers' offense bogged down inside the opponent's 10.

Reed had made all eight of those field goals, from 27 yards and in.

But in the third quarter, Reed was called on to kick a 26-yarder after yet another drive stalled inside the 10. This time, he missed.
Another power outage

The Steelers were held without a touchdown in the first half of a game for the third time this season. They also did not score a touchdown in the first half against Atlanta and New Orleans. It was also the third time this season that the Steelers went to the intermission with just three points, also against the Falcons and Saints.

The Steelers beat the Falcons in overtime and lost to the Saints.
Catching on

Steelers rookie receiver Emmanuel Sanders scored his first touchdown in the fourth quarter when he reeled in a 6-yard pass from Roethlisberger.

Tight end Heath Miller went over the 3,000-yard mark in career receiving yards. He is second in team history in receiving yards for tight ends behind Elbie Nickel, who has 5,131 yards.
Timmons injured

Linebacker Lawrence Timmons injured his hip in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. He was replaced by Larry Foote. Timmons had six tackles before leaving the game.

The Steelers' other inactives were: safety Will Allen, running back Jonathan Dwyer, offensive tackle Chris Scott, receiver Antonio Brown and defensive end Aaron Smith.

The Patriots' inactives were receiver Taylor Price, running back Fred Taylor, cornerback Darius Butler, safety Jarrad Page, offenisve lineman Rich Ohrnberger, center Stephen Neal, offensive tackle Mark LeVoir and defensive lineman Myron Pryor.

Matt Freed/Post-Gazette

Steelers' Hines Ward goes down with an injury at the end of the first quarter.
Ray Fittipaldo: rfittipaldo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1230.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10319/1103465-66.stm#ixzz15M3eKlnh

tony hipchest
11-15-2010, 12:05 PM
how bout hines trying to play it off as a neck injury so he could get back into the game? everyone knows he woulda went back in if new league rules didnt prevent him from doing so.

the lack of a flag on the play that KO'ed him is just more proof that the enforcement of new concussion rules is completely arbitrary and vary on a week to week basis.