Scott's Back, & Odds and End Zones

<b>PITTSBURGH -</b> A day after being called out by head coach Bill Cowher for not playing in last Sunday's playoff victory over Cleveland, cornerback Chad Scott said Wednesday he plans to be on the field Saturday when the Steelers travel to Tennessee to take on the Titans in an AFC Divisional Playoff game.

Scott has not played since breaking his right thumb in a victory over Tampa Bay Dec. 23. He had surgery the next day to place two metal pins in the thumb.

"I'm going to play," said Scott. "Nobody wants to play more than I do. It's not like I don't want to play. I wish I could have played in the Cleveland game. Unfortunately I wasn't able to. There was too much pain at that point in time."

At his Tuesday press conference, Steelers' head coach Bill Cowher said the decision ultimately comes down to the player and whether he is comfortable being out there.

"Last week we were hopeful to have him," said Cowher. "But he wasn't there. We are hopeful to have him this week. If he can be there, great. If he can't, we are moving on. It's simple. I am not going to get into specifics. It is a broken thumb ... he has to feel comfortable playing with it. If he is comfortable playing with it, he will play. If he is not, he will not."

Scott was one of two defensive starters on the bubble last week. He and inside linebacker Kendrell Bell were questionable all week long and did not practice.

But Bell took a painkilling injection in his sprained ankle on game day and responded by recording nine tackles before leaving late in the fourth quarter after aggravating the injury. Bell, like Scott, is questionable to play again this week.

"Guys know what time of year it is," said linebacker Joey Porter. "We're two games away from the big show. Kendrell was really in a situation where he really shouldn't have played last week, but it's playoff time."

Coffee anyone?

Maybe Tennessee Titans' strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson thought Steelers' linebacker Joey Porter was just thirsty.

That would be a semi-reasonable explanation for Porter's claims Wednesday that Watterson dumped a cup of hot coffee on him during the Titans' 31-23 victory over the Steelers Nov. 17 in Tennessee.

Porter said Wednesday that he had hit Tennessee quarterback Steve McNair in bounds and the two tumbled out of bounds into the Titans' bench area when Watterson struck.

"I tackled him and we went out of bounds, a little bald-headed guy came over and threw some coffee on me," said Porter, who identified the culprit as Watterson. "He thought he was slick about it. He handed the cup to his player. I saw the whole thing on tape. What am I supposed to do, cry about it and look like a sore loser? Oh, I'm going to cry because he poured coffee on me and sue him and all that stuff. I was hoping that we'd get to play them again."

Porter will get that opportunity when the Steelers travel to Tennessee Saturday to take on the Titans in an AFC Divisional Playoff game.

"We're not in the pouring coffee business. We're in the business of playing football," Porter said. "The thing about it is that he tried to be slick about it. He threw the coffee and then passed the cup to a player. But the eye in the sky caught all of it. I could've gone and went to the league and tried to make him lose his job over that because he tried to burn me. But, I'm not going to worry about that. Coffee is not going to kill me. It was some acid or something, that's a different story. But it was just coffee. It was cold that day, anyway."

But some of his teammates took the coffee incident a little harder.

"To me that's the utmost in disrespect. That's like somebody spitting in your face," said safety Lee Flowers. "For a coach to disrespect another player like that and show no remorse ... I definitely think that will motivate us. They just don't respect us."

The Castaways

Scott won't be the only Steelers player on the field Saturday with a cast on his hand. Rookie guard Kendall Simmons has a broken bone in his right hand and has a cast on the hand to protect it. Interestingly enough, Simmons is on the team's injury list as probable, but with a shoulder injury instead of the hand.

"I've played with a cast on my hand before," Simmons said. "It's not a problem."

Odds and End Zones

Bell, defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen, and wide receiver Hines Ward did not practice Wednesday. Bell is questionable with an ankle injury, while von Oelhoffen (calf) and Ward (quad) are probable. ... The Titans have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 21 consecutive home games, the longest current streak in the NFL. ... Safety Erik Totten, signed off the practice squad to replace injured Mike Logan, will wear No. 39.

 --Dale Lolley


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