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Ward, Farrior questionable for Patriots game

The Steelers could be without receiver Hines Ward and linebacker James Farrior on Sunday against New England at Heinz Field. Ward didn't practice Friday because of a sore ankle, and Farrior (calf) was limited in practice. Both are questionable for the game.

Nose tackle Chris Hoke (neck), guard Doug Legursky (toe) and linebackers James Harrison (eye) and Jason Worilds (quadriceps) are out.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Thursday he isn't counting out Ward, but he's confident there's enough depth to rest Ward if necessary.

"I feel very comfortable with Jerricho (Cotchery) in his spot or Emmanuel (Sanders) splitting it," Arians said. "We have our fingers crossed that he will be ready to go because he is the heartbeat."

> > The Patriots' defensive front will try to hold up the Steelers' offensive line in an effort to funnel running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman toward two of Pouncey's college teammates -- linebackers Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham. "Spikes was a monster in college," Pouncey said. "No one could block him." Sikes has 28 tackles, including 20 unassisted.

> > Arians knows there a number of things the Steelers can't do against the Patriots -- all of which they did during last year's 39-26 loss. "We can't have balls bounce off us and have them take it to the house," he said. "We dropped two or three balls in the end zone and kicked field goals. We can't do that in this ball game."

> > Nose tackle Casey Hampton missed the past three games with a shoulder injury but expects to start Sunday. "I don't want any more rest," he said. "I'm ready and excited about being back out there."

> > The New England Patriots released cornerback Leigh Bodden. Bodden, who played at Duquesne, signed as a free agent in 2009 after a stint with the Cleveland Browns. The veteran cornerback saw his playing time reduced this season in favor of Kyle Arrington.

> > Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid anticipated heavy traffic and last-minute crowds at the gates, which open at 2 p.m. Fans will be subject to full patdowns.

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