Notebook: Polamalu makes the Friday cut

DETROIT – Troy Polamalu's tender ankle passed a critical test Friday when he practiced for all but the last half hour, when he was held out as a precautionary measure.

"He ran and cut without any noticeable limp," wrote pool reporter Chris Colston.

Colston, it should be noted, missed Polamalu's departure from Thursday's Pittsburgh Steelers practice. Colston left it out of his initial pool report Thursday and left reporters scrambling that night to gather information from the Steelers, who listed him on the Thursday injury report as probable for the Super Bowl.

"He's fine," coach Bill Cowher said after Friday's practice.

Before Friday's practice, Cowher told reporters that his All-Pro strong safety underwent an MRI examination Thursday night and the results were negative. Cowher said Polamalu woke up Thursday morning with a sore ankle.

"It may have been more just working on a different surface, I think, than what we usually work on back in Pittsburgh," Cowher said.

The Steelers practice on natural grass outside and FieldTurf inside in Pittsburgh. The latter surface is softer than the new and unsettled FieldTurf that was just installed at the Pontiac Silverdome for this event.

Polamalu remains listed as probable for Sunday's game.


Steelers fullback Dan Kreider (knee) and reserve defensive end Travis Kirschke (groin) were updated to probable on Friday. They, too, missed a portion of Friday's practice, as did special-teams ace James Harrison (ankle), who is also listed as probable.

Wide receiver Hines Ward was held out of the last half of Friday's practice with a sore shoulder, but only as a precautionary measure.

"He's fine," Cowher said of Ward. "I'm not listing him (on the injury report), so he's fine."

The Steelers practiced for 85 minutes Friday in shells, helmets, shorts and game cleats. They worked on goal line, short yardage, red zone and simulated drives.

The Steelers will have a 20-minute walk-through in Pontiac on Saturday morning.


Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren said his team had a "very, very good practice" Friday, a day after going through a practice "marked by a couple of scraps," according to pool reporter Dan Pompei.

"This happened every year I've coached in this game," said Holmgren. "By Thursday or Friday they get a little cranky and stuff happens."

Every player participated in the Seahawks' Friday practice, including wide receiver D.J. Hackett (probable/hamstring) and cornerback Andre Dyson (probable/quadriceps).

Holmgren said he is finished tinkering with his game plan, other than to script his first 15 plays.

"Now I actually have to freshen them up," Holmgren said. "It's like lifting weights. You pump, pump, pump and now you have to recover. We're not finished mentally because we'll be doing some stuff (Saturday). But they have to kind of get their legs back underneath them so they are as fresh as they can be for Sunday."


Cowher on what he'll say to his players before Sunday's (approximate) 6:30 p.m. kickoff:

"The biggest thing right now is not to make this game out bigger than it is. I think it's very important to do that. … There's been a sense of urgency and a desperate state we've played in the last seven weeks, and I don't think Sunday will be any different. We understand the magnitude of the game, but it cannot affect how you play the game."

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