Notebook: Bettis downgraded
Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was downgraded from questionable to doubtful for Sunday’s game at Green Bay. Bettis is nursing a quadriceps bruise that occurred two games ago in the third quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals. A Cincinnati defender drove his helmet into Bettis’ thigh on a run that netted no gain. He left the field prior to the final play of the third quarter – a 4-yard TD pass to Hines Ward – and did not return.
“I’ve been fighting it ever since,” Bettis said yesterday.
However, he fought through the pain and played sparingly in the Steelers’ 20-19 win this past Monday against the Baltimore Ravens. He ran eight times for 22 yards, 16 of which came on the game-winning field goal drive. Part of the reason he was downgraded to doubtful yesterday is due to a short practice week, given the Steelers lost a day because of the Monday night game.
“I’m going to try to play,” Bettis said. “I want to make the decision to keep me out a difficult one.”
“I hope so, but I don’t think the game plan will change,” said Staley, who said his return has taken longer than expected because of a slight onset of arthritis. “We will continue to stick to what we do and that’s run the ball. Of course we will try to run it a little more because Ben is out. That has been our makeup last year and this year and it won’t change.”
“I opened my rookie year there in 1998,” Batch said. “I’ve been through all the nostalgia part of it, so it won’t affect me Sunday.”
“I was a young boy and I grew up watching him because I loved Barry Sanders,” Batch said. “I know a lot about C-Batch.”
Although he’s been a longtime fan, Parker added, “I don’t want his autograph or nothin’.”
“I had to deal with it; it wasn’t a long process,” Bettis said. “I had it done in training camp one year and played the first game of the season, so it wasn’t an extremely long process. But during the season, it’s a little bit different.”
As for as rehab, “it’s a strength issue … it’s just a matter of pain tolerance,” Bettis said.