The Steelers' defense Sunday meets the most recent runner to gain 100 yards on them, and they're betting it will not happen again.
Edgerrin James ran 29 times for 124 yards against the Steelers when he was with the Colts Nov. 28, 2005, in Indianapolis.
They have played 28 games since then, including playoffs, without giving up another. Sunday, James will line up with the Arizona Cardinals and try it again. He is the only runner to gain 100 yards against the Steelers in the past 53 games.
Linebacker Larry Foote does not like James' chances.
"How many in a row, 28?" Foote asked. "If I were a betting man, I wouldn't bet on it."
Foote said the Steelers played a lot of dime defense against the no-huddle Colts that day.
"It wasn't our true defense. We were running a lot of zone, and it was a cheap 100. But he got it. He is one of the best backs. He broke a lot of tackles that game. We definitely have our eye on him because we know what he can do."
Wide receiver Hines Ward said he's trying to get himself ready to play Sunday, but he's not sure he can. Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday Ward is doubtful with a right knee sprain.
"Today it feels better, tomorrow I'll do some exercise," said Ward, who watched practice. "I'm rehabbing 24/7, I'm trying to do all I can. I don't like to miss ballgames, you guys know that. I'll work my tail off, and we'll see. It's just a day-to-day injury now."
Center Sean Mahan, who also has a right knee sprain, did not practice yesterday. Tomlin said Mahan is more likely to play than Ward.
Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth, who missed the game Sunday with a deep thigh bruise, did not practice.
Cornerback Ricardo Colclough, who has not dressed for the first three games, went through a limited practice with a back injury of some sort.
The Cardinals list three injured players as not practicing yesterday: WR Anquan Boldin (hip), OT Levi Brown (ankle) and C Al Johnson (knee).
Rossum makes history
Allen Rossum became the first player in NFL history to have a kickoff return for a touchdown with four teams when he scored from 98 yards against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday. He also ran back kickoffs for scores with Philadelphia, Green Bay and Atlanta.
Ahead of the game
The Steelers did not achieve their third win last season until the ninth game.
"There's no question it's a great feeling to start the year off 3-0 rather than 0-3," Ward said. "Especially after last year, considering that last year was a disappointment, coming off the Super Bowl year and not making the playoffs.
"Coming back, a lot of players are hungry. We're playing with something to prove. A lot of people counted us out, a lot of publications didn't have us listed as one of the teams. We kind of flew under the radar."