Steelers WR Ward questionable for Sunday
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward did not practice again on Friday due to a sprained ankle and is officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.
Emmanuel Sanders indicated he expects to start Sunday in place of Ward, who has not practiced all week. Sanders has one official career start — the season finale last season, but only because Pittsburgh opened in a three-receiver set.
The franchise career leader in every major receiving statistical category, Ward has not missed a game since 2007 — although last November he was knocked out of a game against the Patriots early due to a concussion. That ended a club record streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception.
Linebacker Jason Worilds (quadriceps), backup nose tackle Chris Hoke (neck) and guard Doug Legursky (toe) were ruled out for Sunday’s game, along with linebacker James Harrison (broken eye socket), who will miss his fourth consecutive.
Veteran inside linebacker James Farrior is questionable after being limited in participation. With Worilds out, Stevenson Sylvester would spell Farrior if he cannot play.
Saints RB Ingram out vs Rams with heel injury
METAIRIE, La. — Saints running back Mark Ingram will not play Sunday against St. Louis after missing all week with a right heel injury.
As a result, the Saints will move running back Chris Ivory from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man active roster, coach Sean Payton said Friday.
The move swaps one leading rusher for another.
Ingram leads the Saints with 329 yards and three touchdowns on 85 carries this season. Ivory, meanwhile, led the Saints in 2010 with 716 yards and five touchdowns.
New Orleans must release a player to make room for Ivory, but hadn’t announced a move as of Friday afternoon.
The Saints play at St. Louis on Sunday.
Pats release DB Bodden
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots released cornerback Leigh Bodden on Friday.
Bodden, who played at Duquesne University, signed as a free agent with the Patriots in 2009 after a stint with the Cleveland Browns. He saw his playing time reduced this season in favor of Kyle Arrington.
Bodden tied for the team lead with five interceptions in 2009, but missed all of last season with a shoulder injury. He returned this year and played in five of the first six games, collecting 16 total tackles.
The Patriots also announced they added defensive back Josh Victorian to the practice squad, while they released defensive back Malcolm Williams from the practice squad.
The Patriots (5-1) meet the Steelers (5-2) on Sunday.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick declined to comment on Bodden when asked Friday morning.
NFL fines Seattle’s Bryant $15,000
NEW YORK — Seattle defensive end Red Bryant has been fined $15,000 by the NFL for head-butting Cleveland tight end Alex Smith in last week’s game.
Bryant was ejected from the 6-3 loss.
Miami safety Yeremiah Bell was docked $15,000 for roughing the passer. He hit Denver’s Tim Tebow in the head and neck area.
Kansas City linebacker Tambi Hali also was fined $15,000 for striking Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer in the knee area. Teammate Brandon Flowers was nailed for $10,000 when the cornerback used the football as a prop, considering unsportsmanlike conduct.
Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard was fined $10,000 for his hit on defenseless Jaguars running back Deji Karim.
Oakland LB Aaron Curry got a $10,000 fine for a late hit and Raiders CB Stanford Routt was fined $7,500 for unnecessary roughness for hitting Chiefs running back Jackie Battle out of bounds.
QB Jackson looking likely to return for Seattle
RENTON, Wash. — Tarvaris Jackson completed his most extensive day of practice since suffering a pectoral injury three weeks ago and appears likely to return for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Jackson went through pregame warmups with the team last week in Cleveland before the Seahawks ultimately decided to give him another week and give Charlie Whitehurst the starting nod. Whitehurst and the offense stumbled to three points and only 137 yards of total offense.
Coach Pete Carroll said Jackson was able to do more work Friday than any day so far since suffering the high grade pectoral strain against the New York Giants on Oct. 9.
“It’s good for us to see it,” Carroll said. “It’s good for him to feel it. He went out there and felt good about it and we’ve been kind of leaning towards showing something on this day. I know that he’s had a little pep in his step to get out there and wing the ball around some. It’s good in all directions.”
Jackson said he felt pretty good in warmups last Sunday and that he’s progressed throughout the week. He was able to throw some deep passes during practice and said he doesn’t expect to be limited in the passes he’ll be able to throw if he plays Sunday.
“It’s been making the jump each day so hopefully I get that same jump tomorrow that I’ve been getting. If it makes that jump like I think, I should be fine,” Jackson said.
Whitehurst continued to get the majority of the first-team reps throughout the week and is prepared to start if Jackson is unable to play. It would be the fourth start of Whitehurst’s career and the first time he will have started consecutive games.