<p>Tommy Maddox was upgraded to probable Thursday and the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback expects to play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. </p> <p>Maddox injured his right ankle against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when defensive tackle Warren Sapp rolled up on his leg in the second quarter of Monday night's game. Maddox finished the game but came out of it listed as questionable for the Ravens game. </p>

"It's felt better and better every day," said Maddox, when he was asked if he felt Sapp's hit was dirty.

"I haven't seen it," Maddox said. "Obviously it was late but I don't know if he got pushed in or what. He got the penalty. He came up and said that he didn't mean to do it. You know, at that point in the game, that was the least of my worries. But we're already past that and moving on to Baltimore."

Maddox worked yesterday in the team's first practice of the truncated holiday week. Missing practice were safety Mike Logan (back), running back Jerome Bettis (knee), linebacker James Farrior (shoulder), and cornerback Chad Scott (hand). Logan, Bettis and Farrior are questionable for Sunday's game.

"I've got to see these guys work before I can upgrade them, but I'm cautiously optimistic with most of them," said Coach Bill Cowher.

Scott has already been ruled out of Sunday's game, but surgery on the broken bone in his right hand went well. "It only took a half hour total," Scott said. "I'm probably going to have to wear a cast but I really don't know. It's supposed to be something smaller than this."

When asked if he was targeting a return for the first playoff game, Scott said: "There's nothing wrong with my legs." Scott injured his hand while attempting to punch the ball from the hands of Keyshawn Johnson. Scott punched Johnson's shoulder pad instead.



Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress has plenty of reason to be excited about Sunday's game against the Ravens. In the teams' previous meeting, reserve defensive back James Trapp ripped Burress' helmet off of his head and then stomped on Burress' chest. Both players were ejected, but Burress said he's not looking to gain revenge.

"Not really," Burress said. "I mean, I don't have any hard feelings against anybody or anything like that. It's going to be their last game of the season. We're looking onto bigger and better things. We're not concentrating on little stuff like that that's going to bring any negative attention to anybody. We're just trying to win this football game and go into the playoffs and keep playing well."

Burress said he learned something from the situation, even though he wasn't at fault.

"Stuff happens," he said. "Sometimes when things happen you don't have an explanation as to why. You sit back and look at it and try to find something positive out of the situation."

"I'm not going to let that be one of my focuses going into this game because that's the last thing I'm thinking about. I'm going to go out and play just like I've been playing. I'm not talking to anybody or going looking for anybody. I want to play football."

Burress, who caught five passes Monday for 127 yards, has 75 receptions this season for 1,273 yards. Both are career highs for the third-year pro.



The Steelers announced a change in the sack totals from Monday's game. Logan, who'd initially been awarded a full sack of quarterback Shaun King in the third quarter, has instead been credited with only half a sack. Defensive end Aaron Smith helped Logan with the sack and is now being credited with 2.5 sacks in the game, giving him 5.5 for the season. Logan has just the half sack this season.



Cowher, on giving his team two days off instead of the usual one this week: "Christmas, falling on a Wednesday, had a lot to do with it. We're also playing a football team we know very well and they know us. Then, coming off the Monday night, the type of game it was, the emotions involved with it, we'll be fine. We'll get another full day in Friday. We'll come through with a bit of a walk-through on Saturday. Actually we'll get all of our work in. With the short week being what it is, and Christmas falling the way it did, it was clearly the right thing to do."


--Jim Wexell



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