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By The The Tribune-Review
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2006

The Baltimore Ravens had to land in Pittsburgh on their way back from Monday night's game in Denver so defensive back Corey Ivy could go to UPMC-Presbyterian Hospital. A similar thing could have happened to the Steelers on their way home from San Diego. The team stopped at a hospital on the way to the airport because the Steelers thought starting defensive end Brett Keisel also might have a kidney problem (Ivy suffered a kidney tear against the Broncos). Subsequent tests showed no bleeding, and Keisel, who suffered a rib contusion, was allowed to fly home with the team. The Steelers didn't leave until after 2 a.m., eastern time, and almost had to change plans because of rules prohibiting planes leaving San Diego's airport after a certain hour. Had they not been able to fly out of San Diego, the Steelers would have left from Los Angeles, coach Bill Cowher said.

"It was not a pretty thought," Cowher said.

• Reserve linebacker and special teams regular James Harrison will miss Sunday's game because of a high ankle sprain. Willie Reid, a rookie wide receiver/return specialist is doubtful after suffering a foot sprain against the Chargers. Cowher said Santonio Holmes will return punts exclusively if Reid is unable to play against the Kansas City Chiefs. Rian Wallace, a second-year linebacker, will take Harrison's place on the kick coverage teams, Cowher said. Keisel (ribs) is questionable for Sunday, and fullback Dan Kreider (knee) is probable.

• Cowher is not exactly fond of having TV reporters on the sideline for games. When asked about Ben Roethlisberger -- specifically, why the quarterback's right arm was in a sling under his shirt following Sunday's game -- Cowher said too much is read into his health. He attributed some of that to live reports from the sideline before and during games, indicating that something had been said or hinted about Roethlisberger having an elbow problem during NBC's broadcast.

"It's another one of the sensationalized stories that sometimes these sideline reporters want to create," Cowher said. "It becomes a little bit bothersome because they ask questions and they try to make more than what's there, and we're not trying to hide anything. He's got a little tennis elbow, so he was loosening up just like kickers loosen up their legs. He's fine."

• Reserve running back Najeh Davenport could have an expanded role Sunday. Against the Chargers, Davenport gained 32 yards off a dump pass that set up the Steelers' only touchdown. He also played on special teams and returned a kickoff 26 yards. With Reid doubtful, Davenport is a candidate to return kickoffs against the Chiefs, Cowher said.


6 - Wide receivers who were active for the Chargers game, which led coach Bill Cowher to go with one less defensive back and resulted in Mike Logan being inactive.

8 - Consecutive times the Steelers have played the Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, dating back to 1992.

26 - Points the Steelers have allowed in the fourth quarter during a three-game losing streak while scoring only three themselves.

- Scott Brown

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