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Steelers' Woodley hopes to return for Chiefs

Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley is cautiously optimistic that he will return to action Nov. 27 when the Steelers visit Kansas City for a prime-time game.

"I'll be back hopefully after the bye week," Woodley said Tuesday.

Woodley has missed the past two games, and the hamstring injury he sustained Oct. 30 has kept him in something of a holding pattern. The Steelers' bye gives Woodley an extra week to heal, and the fifth-year veteran will get to enjoy some time off like the rest of his teammates.

The Steelers hold their final practice of the week Wednesday, and the players are off until Monday. Woodley said he plans to return to his native Michigan rather than stay in Pittsburgh for treatment.

"You can't do much about it but let it rest up," Woodley said of his injury. "It's almost like a broken arm, (and it will heal) whether I'm here or at Michigan."

> > The Steelers may not be at full strength at wide receiver when they return from the bye. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is still limping noticeably after undergoing knee surgery last week. When asked if he expects to play against the Chiefs, Sanders said, "We'll play it by ear."

> > The Steelers went from third place to first in the AFC North on Sunday by virtue of their win over the Bengals and the Ravens' loss in Seattle. Woodley said the way the season is shaking out, the Steelers could get an opportunity to avenge two losses to the Ravens in the playoffs. Woodley is sure of one thing: The Steelers are bound for the playoffs. "We're going to be playing football in January," he said.

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