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Patriots notebook

Steelers’ Ward 50-50

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / October 29, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - The Steelers will likely be without veteran receiver Hines Ward for tomorrow’s game against the Patriots because of an ankle injury.

Though he is listed as questionable on the Steelers’ injury report, Ward did not practice this week. Multiple reports out of Pittsburgh yesterday said it would be highly unlikely if he played.

The Steelers did declare linebackers James Harrison (eye) and Jason Worilds (quadriceps), nose tackle Chris Hoke (neck), and guard Doug Legursky (toe) out. Linebacker James Farrior (calf) is questionable, though he practiced on a limited basis this week.

For the Patriots, linebacker Dane Fletcher (thumb) was declared out, and cornerback Ras-I Dowling (hip) is doubtful. Fletcher did not practice this week; Dowling was on the field for the media-access window Tuesday and did not practice the rest of the week.

The Patriots listed five players as questionable: safety Josh Barrett (thumb), running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe), defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back), linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee), and tackle Sebastian Vollmer (back).

Mayo may be a game-time decision. He suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament at Oakland in Week 4, and returned to practice last week.

Coach Bill Belichick said yesterday that Mayo is “trying to do a little more each day’’ in terms of his return.

As for the players who were on the physically unable to perform list, Belichick said a decision had not yet been made on whether to elevate any to the 53-man roster.

Card-carrying member

Belichick made his feelings on last night’s Game 7 of the World Series known. He closed his news conference by saying, “Go Cards,’’ and moments later walked through the locker room in a Tony La Russa Cardinals jersey.

Belichick and La Russa are friends, and Belichick has often visited the longtime Cardinals manager during spring training.

Asked if he watched Thursday night’s Game 6, Belichick said, “What a game. Happy for Tony and wishing him well tonight. That team has shown a lot of resiliency and physical toughness, mental toughness, from being way behind in September, and in the Series in various games . . . It’s two good teams. Great series.’’

Minor move

In addition to releasing Leigh Bodden yesterday, the Patriots made a practice squad transaction, releasing Malcolm Williams and adding fellow defensive back Josh Victorian . . . The Patriots will be looking for their 10th straight October win tomorrow. The last time they lost in October was Oct. 11, 2009, to the Broncos (20-17 in overtime).

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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