Steelers Notebook -- Ward, Polamalu, Holmes returning
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Steelers will welcome at least three of their four injured starters back this week and may even make it four-for-four.
Coach Mike Tomlin said wide receivers Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes and strong safety Troy Polamalu will return to the lineup for Sunday night's game in Denver.
All three missed the last game with various injuries and Ward has missed the past two.
The only one of the four starters whose status has not been determined is nose tackle Casey Hampton. He missed the last game with a hamstring injury that Tomlin said will limit him in practice today. The coach said his staff members will monitor Hampton as the week progresses and they are "hopeful" he will play.
Also, backup tight end Jerame Tuman has had back spasms that might limit him in practice and No. 3 cornerback Bryant McFadden remains doubtful with a high ankle sprain.
"Hines Ward is going to be fine," Tomlin said. "He's going to practice tomorrow. All tests to this point have been very positive. I know he's excited about being back in there, as are we to have him back in there."
The NFL still has not ruled on Travis Henry's positive drug test that could prompt the league to suspend Denver's running back for a year.
Tomlin said, "I expect Travis Henry to play" Sunday. Henry is seventh in the NFL with 498 yards rushing, nine yards behind Willie Parker, who is sixth.
Tomlin also said he does not expect Najeh Davenport's legal issues to be a factor.
"Not at all," Tomlin said.
Davenport pleaded not guilty in a Cleveland court Monday to misdemeanor counts of domestic violence and endangering children in a custody case. He posted bail of $7,500 and is not due back in court until Nov. 20.
The Steelers have traveled by air just once through the first six weeks of the season but will do so twice over the next two weeks. Their first experience was not a good one and resulted in their only loss, 21-14, at Arizona Sept. 30.
"Specifically this week, we talked about having an opportunity to respond to our last road outing," Tomlin said.
"The last time we were on the road, we didn't feel like we played up to our standards. We put the challenge out to our football team that we're going into a hostile environment, to say the least. We have to be prepared to be at our best."
The Steelers also won their opener at Cleveland, 34-7, but traveled there by bus.