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Parker earns AFC honors

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By Scott Brown
Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008

• Willie Parker earned AFC Player of the Week honors after rushing for 138 yards and a career-high three touchdowns in the Steelers' 38-17 win over the Texans. What made the award even more meaningful for Parker was that it followed the first regular-season game the Pro Bowl running back played in since breaking his lower right leg in December. "Last year when I got hurt, I kind of like reflected back on my career and I saw that I took a lot of things for granted and I didn't want to do that," Parker said Wednesday. "I'm just going to play with a passion, the one I used to play with." Parker solidified his role as the team's short-yardage back by scoring on runs of 7, 13 and 4 yards against the Texans. Parker said he knew prior to the Steelers' season opener that he would be the team's short-yardage back, a role Najeh Davenport, who was released before the start of training camp, filled the past two seasons. "Sometimes you've got to keep stuff to yourself," Parker said, "so you don't cause controversy."

• In addition to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, offensive tackle Marvel Smith (groin), cornerback Deshea Townsend (foot) and Hines Ward did not practice Wednesday. Ward was given the day offf by coach Mike Tomlin.

Wide receiver Donte Stallworth (quadricep) and tight end Martin Rucker (knee) missed practice for the Browns yesterday. Return specialist Josh Cribbs (ankle), linebacker Kris Griffin (elbow), guard Rex Hadnot (knee), safety Brodney Pool (concussion) and offensive tackle Ryan Tucker (hip) were limited in practice.


182.5 -- Rushing yards the Steelers averaged in two games against the Browns last season.

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