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Suitanim 10-14-2005 08:22 AM

Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
Roethlisberger, Ward miss practice again

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Ben Roethlisberger isn't the Pittsburgh Steelers' only injury worry with Sunday's game against Jacksonville approaching. Wide receiver Hines Ward missed practice for a second straight day Thursday with a nagging hamstring injury.

If Roethlisberger and Ward can't practice Friday - and neither player has been on the field since Monday night's 24-22 victory in San Diego - it seems unlikely they will play. Most weeks, the Steelers require a player to practice at least once before a game to play, though coach Bill Cowher said he does not have a blanket policy.

"It's case by case," Cowher said Thursday. "Obviously, if you have somebody who hasn't practiced all week, you have to take that into account. We are just going to look at all the circumstances and go from there."

Roethlisberger, whose left knee became hyperextended during the Steelers' game-winning final drive Monday, did some light jogging and throwing but did not practice. Still, that was an improvement from Wednesday, when he was on crutches for most of the day.

Roethlisberger remains doubtful, meaning there is only a 25 percent chance that he will play, while Ward is questionable. Ward also was questionable leading into Monday's game, but played and made six catches for 83 yards.

But the short work week between games isn't helping Ward and, Cowher said, "It becomes a concern" when a player can't practice.

It wasn't Ward's day - even if it was. He was honored Thursday during Hines Ward Day ceremonies in nearby Washington, Pa., which named him its honorary mayor and gave him the key to the city, an honor previously reserved for dignitaries such as former presidents John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton.

Cowher did get favorable injury news: Roethlisberger's backup, Tommy Maddox (calf), was upgraded from questionable to probable. That means he could start ahead of No. 3 quarterback Charlie Batch, who hasn't started a game in four years, if Roethlisberger can't go.

When Maddox was hurt in practice Friday, the Steelers expected him to be out for three to four weeks.

"He appears to be very good, and Ben feels a lot better than he did yesterday (Wednesday)," Cowher said.

Regardless of what happens in practice Friday, Cowher probably won't designate a starting quarterback until game time Sunday, if only to force the Jaguars to prepare for one of three possible starters.

Willie Parker will make his fifth consecutive start at running back, despite being replaced by Jerome Bettis during most of the second half in San Diego. Bettis ran for 54 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown in his first game action since last season's playoffs, not counting the preseason. Parker, who ran for 272 yards against the losing-record Titans and Texans to start the season, was limited to 26 yards on 10 carries by San Diego and has 81 yards on 27 carries in his last two starts.

tony hipchest 10-14-2005 08:35 AM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
lets hope the running backs stay healthy. we might see a little more production out of willy parker on sunday

SteelrsRck 10-14-2005 09:20 AM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
that was a good read more than likley maddox will probably start with batch being close behind as long as our Line will protect him

As far as ward being out that we will miss but then it will give miller some more action and ask more of our players to step up to the plate which they have proven in the past that we are more than capable of doing

Va_steeler 10-14-2005 02:32 PM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
I agree Jax. cannot stop the run, pound the ball, short passing should do it. If Ben doesn't start
or play hopefully defence can help wi it.

BlitzburghRockCity 10-14-2005 04:17 PM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
Neither Tommy or charlie has taken a meaningful snap in over 2 years so either one is going to be an adjustment, I'd look for all 3 RB's to be active for this game till we find the right combination to be able to run it down their throats and do alot of playaction.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE 10-14-2005 04:20 PM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
i hope they let ben sit out a week\no need to get him hurt

Prosdo 10-14-2005 07:51 PM

Re: Well, Nobody ever said it was gonna be easy...
Steelers | Ward Game-time Decision
Fri, 14 Oct 2005 13:55:11 -0700

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward (hamstring) did not practice again Friday, Oct. 14, and is now a game-time decision for Week 6. While he wants to start, he will test his injured hamstring prior to the game.


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