Ward apologizes for questioning his QB

NFL Notes

December 02, 2009|By From Sun news services

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward apologized Tuesday for openly questioning Ben Roethlisberger's toughness, saying he spoke emotionally without knowing a team doctor had recommended the quarterback not play Sunday because of a concussion.

Ward talked Monday with Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin in separate conversations, expressing regret for saying in a pre-game interview that the locker room was split 50-50 whether the quarterback should play that night at M&T Bank Stadium.

"I have apologized to Ben," Ward wrote on Facebook. "Ben and I are cool and always will be. We will not let this come between us; our talk was very productive.

"I would never question a man's toughness playing in a STEELER unif[orm]. I didn't mean to cause such a stir. My frustration was based on the fact that this was a big game for us to stay in the playoff picture and having Ben out there gave us our best opp[ortunity] to win. I was frustrated because there was no indication of Ben not being able to play because he practiced a normal routine."

Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner who has had four concussions since 2006, has worked out without problems this week and is expected to play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

BROWNS: Cleveland placed nose tackle Shaun Rogers on injured reserve with a lower-leg injury.

CHIEFS: Kansas City will retire No. 58 on Sunday to honor the late Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas.

EAGLES: Tight end Brent Celek signed a six-year contract extension.

FALCONS: Jason Elam, a 17-year veteran who has made only eight of 15 field-goal tries from at least 30 yards this season, was released and replaced by Matt Bryant.

JETS: In an attempt to reduce his exposure to injury, rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez worked on his sliding technique with Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

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