Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward said he will play Sunday against the Oakland Raiders despite sustaining a concussion during the first half of Sunday night's loss to the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.
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Ward, who coach Mike Tomlin said has passed a series of post concussion tests, said he should have been allowed to return to the game.
"It's football. You get your bell rung," Ward said. "It's my body. I feel like if I want to go back out there, I feel like I should have the right.
Ward appeared to have trouble with his balance as he was being helped off the field by trainers Sunday.
"If I don't stumble, I'm right back in the game, but prideful me, I'm trying to get off the field quick," Ward said. "I should have laid there another minute or so."
NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reports, via a league source, that Ward will participate in practice this week. As a veteran, Ward often does not take part in Wednesday practice to rest, but will practice fully by Thursday at the latest and is fully slated to face Oakland Sunday, according to the source.
Tomlin said Tuesday he expects Ward to be able to play this week, but the team will monitor him closely.
Ward did not catch a pass before his late first-quarter exit, ending a streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception.
The Steelers remain concerned about end Brett Keisel's hamstring and the defensive end is highly unlikely to play this week, sources tell La Canfora.
Guard Chris Kemoeatu's injury status (knee/ankle) will not fully be known until Wednesday but he too might miss another game. Linebacker Lawrence Timmons picked up a contusion Sunday but he is scheduled to practice and play, according to the source.