Ward sustains concussion against Pats; catch streak snapped

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward sustained a concussion attempting to make a catch in the first quarter against the New England Patriots on Sunday night, ending his streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception.

The streak was the Steelers' longest and the third-longest in NFL history.

Ward was hurt while being hit by Patrick Chung and James Sanders on what was initially ruled a 6-yard catch on Pittsburgh's third possession. Sanders' helmet appeared to strike Ward's helmet.

Ward stumbled while being helped off the field. During the break between quarters, the Patriots challenged the completion and it was overturned because Ward did not maintain possession as he struck the ground. The final play of the quarter was then replayed.

Ward told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he will be ready to play Sunday at home against the Oakland Raiders.

Ward said he could have returned against the Patriots, but was prevented by the Steelers' medical team.

"I felt like I could have played but our (doctors) felt otherwise," Ward said. "It's my body. I feel like if I want to go back out there I should have the right. They saw me tripping over the grass and the league was going to make a big deal about it, them putting me back out there.

"I'm a competitor and I want to be out there, especially against the New England Patriots," Ward said. "I worked my tail off all week to get in that position and I got dinged up."

Ward was the fourth Steelers player to get a concussion in a week. Will Allen, Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman were hurt in the Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Allen did not play Sunday night.

The Steelers suffered injuries to inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons (hip pointer), cornerback Crezdon Butler (quadriceps) and wide receiver Arnaz Battle (shoulder).

"I'll be fine," Timmons told the Tribune-Review.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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