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Wednesday Practice Report

The Steelers spent the afternoon on their outside practice field Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's game against the Houston Texans at Heinz Field and head coach Bill Cowher said they would continue working outside for the remainder of the week.<p> "We're going to play in it, so we might as well get acclimated to it," said Cowher. "It's different. You start throwing and catching and hitting with the pads on and you see it."<p>

Running back Jerome Bettis, offensive tackle Marvel Smith, cornerback Chidi Iwuoma, and wide receiver Hines Ward did not practice Wednesday. Cowher said all but Bettis, who is questionable with a broken nose and slight knee sprain, would practice today. Bettis, meanwhile, is expected to resume practicing Friday.

Center Jeff Hartings, who is questionable after having knee surgery three weeks ago, split time with Chukky Okobi, but Cowher said he would wait to name a starter until later this week.

Meanwhile, placekicker Jeff Reed was named the AFC's special teams player of the week after kicking six field goals and an extra point in Sunday's win over Jacksonville.

--Dale Lolley

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