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Steelers' Bettis thinking about retiring after this season

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Jerome Bettis is thinking about retiring.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back said his health not whether the Steelers win the Super Bowl will determine whether he plays in 2005. Bettis missed significant playing time in 2001 and 2002 with groin and knee injuries, but hasn't missed a game since.

Bettis, the NFL's No. 6 career rusher with 13,037 yards, has flourished as a part-time running back the last two seasons.

He ran for 811 yards in 2003 despite backing up Amos Zereoue for six games and has 647 yards and a career-high 12 touchdowns this season, including four consecutive 100-yard games while replacing the injured Duce Staley.

I'm not getting any younger,'' said Bettis, who will be 33 in February.Every time we win it means a lot more because it could be the last one.''

Bettis isn't thinking this might be his last chance to win a Super Bowl. He reached the AFC Championship game during the 1997 and 2001 seasons, but the Steelers lost at home each time.

No, I don't worry about it,'' he said.If it is, it is. I'm not going to be the sentimental guy to cry after every game. It might not be. I'm not going to worry about it.''

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