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Steelers DE Smith reportedly will not play vs. Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said earlier this week that ailing defensive end Aaron Smith would return to practice and possibly play in Sunday's AFC Championship Game.

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But the *Pittsburgh Post-Gazette* reported Wednesday night that Smith likely will not play against the New York Jets. Smith, who has been sidelined since Oct. 24 because of a torn triceps, was a limited participant in practice earlier in the day.

Smith, one of the NFL's elite 3-4 defensive ends, took part in some light conditioning Wednesday, according to the newspaper. He also was limited in Thursday's practice.

NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported last week, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, that the Steelers probably had to reach the Super Bowl in order for Smith to play again this season.

The Steelers kept Smith, who is one of the team's most respected and popular players, on the active roster all season in hopes he would recover in time to help the team during the playoffs.

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