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Steelers LB Woodley hopes to shake injury, play vs. Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley is pushing to play this weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, team sources said Tuesday.

Woodley was expected to miss two weeks after he sustained a hamstring injury in an Oct. 30 game against the New England Patriots and then came back after the Steelers' Week 11 bye. Given the tests done on the injury, however, Woodley already is lobbying to play, and he will if it's in anyway possible.

The Steelers didn't believe it was possible during the middle of last week that linebacker James Harrison would be able to face the Baltimore Ravens. Harrison eventually was cleared to play, however, and had three sacks. Similarly, the Steelers are keeping an open mind regarding Woodley, who was on a sack tear before the injury.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Woodley's participation in practice this week would dictate his availability for Sunday's game against the Bengals. Tomlin also said Harrison had no physical issues following last Sunday's loss.

Tomlin said wide receiver Hines Ward is "doing well" as he deals with concussion-like symptoms.

Emmanuel Sanders had his knee scoped Monday, and Tomlin said the receiver will miss two weeks while he recovers. Punter Daniel Sepulveda -- placed on season-ending injured reserve Saturday -- also underwent knee surgery Monday, Tomlin said.

The 6-3 Steelers face a crucial game against the 6-2 Bengals, and a loss already would be their third in the AFC North.

Follow Jason La Canfora on Twitter @JasonLaCanfora.

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