View Full Version : Ward's injury just won't go away...Najeh back to practice

10-05-2006, 12:19 AM

Thursday, October 05, 2006

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The hamstring injury that kept Hines Ward out of every preseason game has improved, it just won't heal altogether, and the wide receiver predicted it will bother him the rest of the season.

"My hamstring's not going to be 100 percent this year," he declared yesterday.

Ward is off to the slowest statistical start in his career, not counting his rookie season when he did not start a game. He has caught nine passes for 99 yards. That also ties his lowest three-game stretch since he caught four passes for 67 yards in 2000; he caught nine for 99 yards over a three-game stretch in the middle of 2004.

Ward refused to blame his hamstring injury on his slow start and said that while it won't return to full health this season, it's close.

"It's a matter of battling, fighting through it," Ward said. "It feels good. A hamstring, it's kind of hard to get back to 100 percent when you're running all the time. I'm getting treatment every day to take care of it and try to be as close to 100 percent as possible."

Ward also had a hamstring injury last season, causing him to miss his only game since he arrived in the NFL in 1998.

"I don't know what's wrong with this one; it's not pulled, it's not strained, it's just aggravating. I still have some scar tissue in there. I'm feeling fine. I don't feel hindered by the hamstring, just every now and then on certain routes that I run, I may feel it."

Ward's longest reception covered 19 yards. He came close to catching one for 48 yards in Jacksonville at the goal line that was just out of his reach.

"I felt it on the initial takeoff," Ward said of that pass from Ben Roethlisberger. "But, once I got behind the guy, we were just off by a foot."

Ward said that, typical of hamstring injuries, it would heal "if you take six months off and not do anything, no running."

"But every day at practice, I'm running. My hamstring's fine, it's not 100 percent. I'm out here practicing every day and running my routes full speed, so I don't see my hamstring being a problem."

That's life in the NFL and Hines is as tough as they come. If he's gotta play with some discomfort to be out there, he'll keep on doing it. As long as he doesnt pull it worse he'll be fine. I would imagine it will continue to hamper his play atleast alittle bit this year but I'll take a 50% Hines Ward over most of the WR's in the game anyday !

Running back news

Halfback Najeh Davenport returned to practice yesterday after his right calf was strained in practice Monday. He is listed as questionable, although that could improve as the week goes on if he continues to practice.

Duce Staley not only continued to practice, but he looks better at it, coach Bill Cowher said. Staley ran for 707 yards in his first seven games after signing with the Steelers as a free agent in 2004. A hamstring injury ruined the second half of that season and knee surgery in the summer of '05 helped keep him inactive most of last season, although he filled in for injuries and helped them win games against Green Bay and Cleveland.

Staley, 31, has not suited up for the past two games and played one play in the opener. Cowher said it's not his knee nor his age that has held him back.

"No, just getting his legs back. He didn't have a training camp two years ago and really didn't play a lot last season, just practice. We got him back this year in training camp, so he really had a year that he had to get back. I feel like he's getting some of his legs back after watching him practice the past two weeks."

Interesting to see which one of these 2 we'll go with on Sunday along with Willie and Verron. Doesn't guarantee them playing time though as we've seen whether you dress or not.

10-05-2006, 12:26 AM
hmmm...well you could tell Ward has not been 100% yet. I don't like the fact that he doesn't expect to get there this season. Our passing game needs Ward to be able to go out and make those plays, and if he can't run certain routes, this could hurt us. I hope he starts getting better as the season goes along.

BlacknGold Bleeder
10-05-2006, 12:27 AM
I really want to see what Davenport can do, I sort of envision a "thunder and lightning " with him and Willie!!

10-05-2006, 01:25 AM
I want to see what Davenport can do, I want to see what Duce can do, and I want to see Santonio Holmes become more of the passing game. He seems to be getting better, and I think if he or Nate Washington can step up and be a really good #3 reciever, that will help our offense alot.

10-05-2006, 06:21 AM
Let's hope Nate can get that case of the drops that he's had the last 2 game, under control. If he's gonna get all this extra playing time he needs to come through consistently.

10-05-2006, 08:16 AM
someone in the WR corps needs to step up if ward isn't going to be 100% this year. that said, i really think nate washington has regressed the last few games. i'd like to see holmes and reid step up to the challenge.

10-05-2006, 01:31 PM
I don't care if it's Duce or Najeh... I just want to see one of them get in the game and get some carries to lift some of the pressure off Willie!

If Ward's hamstring isn't going to be 100% this season then he's going to need to find someway to be effective and help the team.

10-05-2006, 01:43 PM
Ward's hamstring worries me a bit. Hopefully he doesn't have a set back with it. Washington or Wilson really need to step up.

Black@Gold Forever32
10-05-2006, 02:19 PM
Well I'm sure alot of other players hamstrings are also not 100 percent.

10-05-2006, 03:04 PM
hamstrings are a real pain in the *** to heal. Been there done that.

K Train
10-05-2006, 03:42 PM
I like Washington, im not gonna hold one game against him. We dont really have #1234 WRs, we have so many different sets that they all get playing time. Washington is good, he'll be fine, holmes has great hands and i cant wait to see him in the open field. But anyway Ward will be fine...injuries like that arent gonna bother him in a game like they will during the week.

10-05-2006, 05:54 PM
Wilson is the guy that definately needs to step it up a notch. He's a starter and needs to be able to be counted on. He griped all last season about not getting the ball, now he's getting it but he's not producing like he should.

10-06-2006, 01:21 AM
Wilson is my biggest concern. He was expected to do much better than he has. Washington and the others are young and with some playing time should get better. Wilson should already know what he is suppose to do.

10-06-2006, 01:55 AM
Without Wilson drawing attention it puts added preasure on Ward and doesn't give Holmes and Miller a chance to do anything because the defense can spread out across the field. Once Wilson picks up his game like he did late last year I think it will create more chances for not only Nate but also Holmes. Once that happens then the passing game will be something special for the Steelers because who is the defense going to focus on :dunno: