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Old 09-24-2007, 08:59 AM   #21
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Default Steelers' Ward injured, but keeps streak alive

Steelers' Ward injured, but keeps streak alive
By Scott Brown
Monday, September 24, 2007

Hines Ward extended his streak that also is a team record - but just barely.
Ward caught one pass for 2 yards in the Steelers' 37-16 win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers, giving him 136 consecutive games in which the four-time Pro Bowler has made at least one reception.

Ward absorbed several hard hits and left the game with a leg injury.

"Right now, it appears to be a bone bruise, and we'll just leave it at that," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.

The absence of Ward, who left the field with a couple of minutes left in the game, thrust rookie Daniel Sepulveda into a position where punters generally are not used.
After the 49ers scored a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to make the score 30-16, the Steelers put Sepulveda where Ward usually lines up on the kickoff return team when they are expecting an onside kick.

Sure enough, San Francisco's Joe Nedney kicked the ball right at Sepulveda, but it was caught cleanly, ending any chance of a 49ers comeback.

"We trust his hands," Tomlin said of Sepulveda, who also is the team's holder on field goals and extra-point attempts. "If you have a punter with bad hands, you don't sleep very well. Our punter has good hands; he made a play for us."
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