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Sunday, September 23, 2007
Steelers mum on Ward's injury after win over 49ers

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward bruised a leg bone while absorbing a hard hit from San Francisco safety Mark Roman in the third quarter Sunday and left the game.

The Steelers did not announce Ward's injury until the game ended, but Ward was not seen on the field during the fourth quarter. He was spotted leaving the Steelers' locker room, in street clothes, with about two minutes remaining and did not talk with reporters.

After the game, doctors were seen showing X-rays of Ward's leg to team officials, but no further information about the injury was disclosed. Normally, coach Mike Tomlin does not offer injury updates following his postgame news conference until his weekly Tuesday news conference.

"There will be further tests and we'll have more information on that area later on," said Tomlin, who did not disclose if Ward hurt his left or right leg.

Ward was hurt while being the intended receiver on two consecutive plays on a drive that ended with a Jeff Reed 36-yard field goal, putting them up 17-6 in a game they won 37-16.

On a third-and-10 play from the 49ers 18, Ward couldn't make the catch of Ben Roethlisberger's short pass that sailed wide. Ward was immediately leveled by Roman, but got up quickly and there was no apparent sign of an injury.

Ward ended the game with one catch for 2 yards and a 7-yard run, giving him 136 consecutive games with at least one catch. A four-time Pro Bowl receiver, Ward has nine catches in three games this season and 657 in his career, the most in Steelers history.

Roethlisberger wasn't certain of Ward's status, but said the Steelers have enough receiver depth with Santonio Holmes, Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington and Willie Reid if Ward is out. The Steelers also are using their tight ends much more than in the past. Heath Miller had a team-high four catches for 82 yards and Jerame Tuman had the third touchdown catch by a backup tight end in three games.

"We've got enough guys that we can keep going with the offense," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously, we'd like to have Hines out there and we miss him out there, but we've got enough guys that we can go if we need to."