The New England Patriots will be without Dane Fletcher Sunday, as the second-year linebacker will be sidelined due to a thumb injury. Rookie Cornerback Ras-I Dowling is listed as doubtful after not playing a single down since week two.
The team will most likely see the return of running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe) and linebacker Jerod Mayo (knee) who both had limited participation in practice. Also listed as questionable are defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth (back) and safety Josh Barrett (thumb) who has been out since the fourth week of the season.
While the Patriots will miss Fletcher, who has been a surprisingly valuable and versatile asset for the team, having their Captain back on the field in Mayo should more than make up for it. With Brandon Spikes putting in a spectacular performance against the Cowboys before the bye week, the Patriots will have a formidable defensive anchor at the inside linebacker position.
The Steelers will be without James Harrison who is still trying to return from an eye injury. Wide receiver Hines Ward (ankle) did not participate in practice, and is not expected to play Sunday either.
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