PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 06: Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter in front of Chris Johnson #37 of the Oakland Raiders during the game on December 6, 2009 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Plenty of Pittsburgh Steelers are sidelined with injuries for this Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders. But despite a Sunday night concussion to Steelers receiver Hines Ward, Heinz Field will still be Hines' field when the Raiders come to town.
Ward has been cleared to play in Sunday's Raiders-Steelers game, and apparently has every intention of doing so, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.
Ward's injury in a Sunday night loss to the Patriots broke his consecutive games with a reception streak at 186 games. Ward was visibly upset at being pulled off the field.
"I think we're all pretty familiar with the climate that we're in, in regards to concussions," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told the Tribune-Review. "Sometimes, you've got to protect the extreme competitors from themselves, and Hines is that. We love and respect him for that, but we had to act in his best interests."
Despite getting the four-time Pro Bowler and one-time Super Bowl MVP back in their receiving corps, the 6-3 Steelers have glaring personnel problems.
Several starters on the offensive line are on injured reserve, and the Patriots took advantage for five sacks of Ben Roethlisberger Sunday night.
You can be sure a certain Mr. Seymour took notice of this and is licking his chops looking forward to Sunday.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks Raiders-Steelers will be the fiercest slugfest since the University of California Board of Regents meeting.