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Roethlisberger, Ward fit for Super Bowl

PITTSBURGH Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward have overcome their injuries and are fit to play in the Super Bowl, head coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday.

Roethlisberger was hit in the kidney and Ward, the Super Bowl MVP in 2006, hurt his knee during the AFC championship game against the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago.

"Both guys are fine," Tomlin told reporters after the Steelers' 38-minute workout on the eve of the NFL championship game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals also had their final practice before today's game at sold-out Raymond James Stadium. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt reported no new injuries and said all of the players participated in the 35-minute walk-through.

Running back J.J. Arrington, punter Ben Graham, and defensive end Travis LaBoy were all battling various injuries and listed on Friday as "questionable" for the Super Bowl.


"Everybody looks pretty good as far as getting through," said Whisenhunt, a former assistant with the Steelers.

"I know there were a couple of guys listed on the report as questionable but barring something else coming up, and today nothing came up, I don't anticipate that they will not play."

The weather for the game was expected to be clear and in the low 60s at game time (6 p.m. EST).

Pittsburgh, a seven-point favorite, is seeking a record sixth Super Bowl triumph, while the Cardinals are playing in the game for the first time.

Some 250 family members and friends watched the Steelers' final practice at the University of South Florida, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Mike Utley, a former Detroit Lions lineman who was paralyzed during a game.

Arizona's final session at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice facility, covering offense, defense and special teams, was held before about 300 family members and friends.

The key match-up during Sunday's game appears to be how the Cardinals' high-powered offense, led by former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Kurt Warner and Pro Bowl receiver Larry Fitzgerald, stacks up against Pittsburgh's top-ranked defense.

"Summing up the week, it has been good," said Tomlin. "Ultimately, though, it will be judged by how we perform tomorrow. We understand that."


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