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Woodley, Polamalu, Ben updates

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KANSAS CITY –
The Steelers’ 13-9 victory/escape at Kansas City was reminiscent of a 23-20 win at Indianapolis earlier this season.
No way should the Steelers have let an inferior team that was playing with a career backup at quarterback hang around the way the Chiefs did.
But an eyesore of a win is much better than the alternative: having to take the wild-card route in the playoffs.
And a loss to the Chiefs would have dealt a crippling blow to the Steelers’ chances of winning the AFC North as it would have essentially put them two games behind the Ravens with five to play.
With the Steelers at 8-3 and tied for the best record in the AFC, here are a couple of injury updates:

— Troy Polamalu’s concussion history makes his early exit from the Chiefs game all the more troubling for the Steelers.
Mike Tomlin, however, emphasized that the Steelers don’t know if Polamalu sustained a concussion after taking a helmet to the knee early in the first quarter.
He said the Steelers held Polamalu out for the rest of the game because he had “concussion-like symptoms.”
Polamalu didn’t finish a game against Jaguars last month after he experienced the concussion-like symptoms, and he played the following week in Arizona.

— Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley missed his third consecutive game because of a hamstring injury but Tomlin sounded optimistic that the fifth-year veteran will return to action sooner rather than later.
“Obviously he’s getting close,” Tomlin said. “He’s run a little bit all of these days but he wasn’t well enough to play. We’ll go through the same process again next week.”
Woodley ran before the Chiefs game, but the Steelers didn’t give any consideration to playing him.
“I felt pretty good,” Woodley said. “I was out there covering some receivers and tight ends. It’s day to day right now.”

— Roethlisberger had thrown for at least 200 yards in 17 consecutive regular-season games prior to Sunday night.
But he and Tomlin said his broken right thumb had nothing to do with Roethlisberger coming up seven yards short of extending that streak to 18 games.
“I didn’t think it was a factor,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger’s injured thumb. “In terms of his execution we didn’t have any discussions regarding it — he or myself, the medical staff. It was a non-issue.”
Roethlisberger said his latest injury didn’t contribute to a third-quarter interception that blemished his stat line. Roethlisberger threw into double coverage and Chiefs quarterback Travis Daniels made an easy pick.
“Just a horrible throw,” Roethlisberger said.

— Scott Brown

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