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Smith to practice this week


This is a time a year when bumps and bruises are plentiful, but for the most part the injury news for the Steelers is good.

Defensive end Aaron Smith is expected to practice this week, after suffering a triceps injury against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 24. Smith hasn't played since then and saw limited action in practice for the first time last week.

"Aaron Smith is going to practice this week," said Coach Mike Tomlin. "We'll see where that practice participation takes us."

Even if Smith is active on Sunday against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game at Heinz Field, he won't start. Ziggy Hood, who has filled in for Smith, would remain the starter.

"Snap count is going to be a part of that discussion if he is deemed well enough to go and that's going to be a limited number of snaps," said Tomlin. "The guys who have been given an opportunity to replace him like Ziggy Hood have more than met the standard. They deserve to continue to play. But it would be nice to add that tool to the tool box if we have the opportunity to do that on Sunday."

In other injury news, cornerback Bryant McFadden is bothered by an abdominal strain and is expected to be limited in practice in the early part of the week. Safety Will Allen suffered a knee sprain against the Ravens last week and may be limited some in practice this week.

The team will continue to be cautious with safety Troy Polamalu, holding him out of practice early in the week as has been the case of late with an ankle injury.

"We will limit Troy like we always do," said Tomlin. "If we are going to err, we are going to err on the side of caution. We'll make sure Troy is in Heinz Field Sunday at six."

On the offensive line tackles Jonathan Scott and Flozell Adams are both expected to practice and play this week.

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