Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward left the field after being belted by Patriots safety James Sanders on the final play of the first quarter due to what his team described as a neck injury. Replays made it appear as if Ward was the victim of a helment-to-helment collision with Sanders. His return was described as questionable.

 

Cornerback Darius Butler is inactive for the first time this season as the Patriots take the field against the Steelers at Heinz Field. Other inactives include OL Mark LeVoir, OL Stephen Neal, OL Rich Ohrnberger, S Jarrad Page, WR Taylor Price, DL Myron Pryor and RB Fred Taylor. 

 

The depth of the Patriots roster will be tested Sunday as three players were downgraded Saturday night to out for the game at Heinz Field against the Steelers. Running back Fred Taylor, who returned this week to practice but was limited, will miss his sixth straight game with turf toe. Starting right guard Stephen Neal has been downgraded to out, as has defensive lineman Myron Pryor. 

 

Here are 10 things to watch for in Sunday night’s Patriots-Steelers game:



The Steelers have added linebacker James Harrison to their injury report and is now being listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Pittsburgh. According to the Steelers twitter page, Harrison - who has played in all eight games this season - complained of back spasms Saturday morning. 

 

NFL.com senior writer Vic Carucci joined The Big Show to talk about the slate of weekend games and whether any team can actually be called the best in the NFL. "Maybe the Steelers," Carucci said. "I change week to week."

 

Steelers defensive end Aaron Smith will miss his third straight game Sunday night with a triceps injury while another defensive end - Brett Keisel - and left guard Chris Kemoeatu are doubtful with hamstring and knee injuries, respectively.

 

Steelers Injury Report for Friday:

Did Not Participate

DE Brett Keisel (hamstring) Doubtful

G Chris Kemoeatu (knee/ankle) Doubtful

DE Aaron Smith (triceps) OUT

 

Full Participation

TE Heath Miller (knee) Probable

FOXBORO -- Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is listed as probable for this Sunday night's game in Pittsburgh against the Steelers. Brady was limited for the second straight day in practice after missing Wednesday's practice with a foot injury. Safety Jarrad Page (calf) is the only active player ruled out for this weekend. Defensive lineman Myron Pryor (back) is questionable. 

 

Patriots Injury Report for Friday:

Injured Reserve

K Stephen Gostkowski (thigh) OUT

 

Patriots left tackle joined The Big Show to talk about this week's matchup with the Steelers and also take one last look back at what went wrong against the Browns. Light called the Steelers "a great test for our offense," and noted that Troy Polamalu, particularly stands out.

 

Patriots running back Fred Taylor appeared on the Dale & Holley show Friday afternoon as part of WEEI's Patriots Friday. Taylor has missed five games with turf toe, an injury he's learned to respect after previously not taking it seriously when he heard about it from other affected players.