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The Sun Setting For Hines Ward?

Mark it down – at some point before the end of the season, Hines Ward will make a game-changing play.

Right now, Ward is more of an afterthought in the Steelers high powered offense, as Sunday he had one grab for 10 yards, and this season in the first 10 games, Ward has 27 grabs for 268 yards and two scores.

His biggest game to date was the October 7th blowout win over the Titans, where he had 7 grabs for 54 yards and two scores. Over his last five games, he’s missed two with injury, and has just 7 grabs for 78 yards in the other three.

Is it over for Ward?

“It may not be any indication of his participation moving forward,” Mike Tomlin said Sunday after the game, “it’s just an indication of his participation today.”

The team looked different Sunday, as It was Jerricho Cotchery, not Ward, who lined up with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown in Pittsburgh’s three-receiver sets. Cotchery had a solid day, catching a touchdown and getting robbed of another, and he ended the day with 2 grabs with 29 yards.

The end may be near for one of the greatest Steelers of all-time, but make no mistake, he’s still going to make a play before it’s all said and done. Ward may not be in his prime anymore, but don’t forget about him and what he has been able to do in his seasons with the Steelers.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Peter

    November 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Great career. Probably make the HOF on first ballot. SB MVP goes along way. He is clearly the 5th best receiver on the team though. Hopefully the Steelers can make another run.

  2. The Tony

    November 14, 2011 at 9:07 pm

    With Matt Shaub going done for the year, the Steelers have a legitimate chance for the one seed.

  3. DrGeorge

    November 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Peter, I agree with your comment, except for making Hines the 5th best receiver on the squad. When he’s healthy, he blocks better than any of the others, he has better hands, he runs more precise routes, he is fearless in traffic, he is football smart, and he knows how to get open. He never was fast, but he is quick, which can be even more effective for a possession receiver. Tomlin is wisely letting him heal before returning him to full time duty, because the team is going to need him down the stretch.

    Ward still plays at a very high level. Physically, he could play at least another two years if he wanted. But why bother? He has already had a HOF career. So why not go out on top? At his age, he will probably think long and hard about retirement after this season, if only to avoid serious injury. And whenever he walks away, he will leave a big void, because there is no one else among our current receivers who can do all the things he can do.

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