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Old 09-06-2005, 08:21 PM   #1
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Default Steelers' Bettis no go for Tennessee game

well at least staley might be able to back up willie, but i doubt he'll play too.

PITTSBURGH (Sept. 6, 2005) -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis won't play in the Sept. 11 season opener against Tennessee because of the strained right calf that kept him out of the team's final preseason game.

With Bettis and Duce Staley (knee surgery) hurting, coach Bill Cowher said No. 3 running back Willie Parker will make his first career start. Parker, a college backup at North Carolina, ran for 102 yards against Buffalo on Jan. 2 in his only extensive playing time as a rookie.

Staley hasn't been ruled out -- he is listed as questionable -- but missed the entire preseason and has practiced only once with the team since training camp began.

Pro Bowl linebacker Joey Porter, who, like Staley, had knee surgery a week into camp, is further along in his rehabilitation than Staley and practiced Sept. 5. He is also listed as questionable.

Bettis, the No. 5 rusher in NFL history, took over for the injured Staley midway through last season and missed a ninth 1,000-yard season by 59 yards despite starting only six games.
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