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Steelers' Ward sticks with decision to play

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward's injured hamstring was nowhere near 100 percent last week against Cleveland, but he said Wednesday that he wouldn't go back on his decision of playing.

"In hindsight, I would do it again," Ward said. "I gave it my best, and we lost the game."

Ward strained his hamstring on the second-to-last play of the Dec. 6 loss to Oakland. He played four days later in Cleveland and caught four passes for 21 yards in a 13-6 loss to the Browns.

Ward missed practice yesterday as he always does Wednesdays, but he expects to play Sunday against Green Bay.

"I am getting better every day," Ward said.

» The Steelers' locker room had a little more upbeat feel to it compared to last week. But Ward wasn't one of the guys clowning around.

"I am still upset about things," he said. "(But) you can't dwell on the past. Hopefully, we can focus on playing Green Bay."

» Running back Willie Parker toed the company line when asked if the team got away from the run game too early last week against Cleveland.

"We are always going to live by the motto that coaches coach and players play," Parker said. "Whatever they call, we have to execute it to the fullest, and we didn't do that."

» Not practicing for the Steelers yesterday were LB James Farrior (not injury related), C Justin Hartwig (knee), S Troy Polamalu (knee), WR Limas Sweed (illness) and Ward (hamstring). Limited in practice were DE Brett Keisel (neck) and G Chris Kemoeatu.

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