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Steelers running back Parker fractures fibula

ST. LOUIS -- Pittsburgh Steelers running back Willie Parker, the NFL's leading rusher, fractured his right fibula in the first quarter Thursday night against St. Louis.

The Steelers went on to win 41-24 behind backup running back Najeh Davenport and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But Parker will be missed.

"Our heart goes out to him, because he's a competitor, he's a warrior," coach Mike Tomlin said. "As a team, we're not going to throw a pity party. It's part of the game, people get hurt, we'll adapt and improvise and move forward."

Parker, who entered the game with 1,317 yards and consecutive 100-yard games, had one carry for a 1-yard loss before leaving only about three minutes into the contest.

Najeh Davenport, who entered the game with 349 yards and a 4.9-yard average, replaced Parker in the lineup and gained 123 yards and scored two touchdowns.

"I took it upon myself to put the offense on my back and carry it," Davenport said. "He's our guy, he's our breadwinner. Not having him, everyone has to pick it up a level."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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