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Steelers' Polamalu, Holmes out

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Santonio Holmes won't play Monday against Miami after missing practice Friday for a third consecutive day.

Polamalu (sprained knee) and Holmes (sprained ankle) were listed as doubtful at best by coach Mike Tomlin earlier in the week, and neither was expected to play. Both could miss multiple games.

Tyrone Carter will replace Polamalu and Nate Washington will start for Holmes against the Dolphins (0-10) as the Steelers (7-3) try to bounce back from a surprise 19-16 loss to the Jets.

Polamalu is having a down season statistically, with no interceptions or sacks and one fumble recovery, but his ability to shift positions from play to play is an important element of the Steelers' league-leading defense.

Holmes has a sprain in his upper right ankle - injured ligaments between the two major bones of the lower leg. His absence could be a major setback to a Steelers offense that managed only one touchdown and 151 yards passing against the Jets, who had previously won only one game. It also takes away quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's top deep threat.

Holmes, a first-round draft pick in 2006, leads the team in receptions (39), touchdown catches (7) and yards per catch (17).

"It's going to require multiple people to step up and fill the roles they provide for us, which is great," Tomlin said. "This is a team, and it's the ultimate team game. We're looking forward to these guys stepping up and delivering for us."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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