Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis expects to be ready to play this Sunday when the Steelers host New England in the AFC Championship game, according to published reports.
Bettis received a painkilling injection for a groin injury just before Pittsburgh's AFC playoff victory over Baltimore, but it went into a nerve and caused his leg to go numb, preventing him from playing. Despite not having Bettis, the Steelers beat the defending Super Bowl champions 27-10.
It has been seven weeks since Bettis last played, but the Steelers still gained 154 yards as a team on the ground. They got 63 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Amos Zereoue. but a return by Bettis would certainly help. Though he played just 11 regular season games, he ran for 1,072 yards and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. He topped the 100-yard mark in five of those 11 games, including four straight times from Week Three through Week Six.
Linebacker Earl Holmes also is reportedly ready to go. He injured his left knee when teammate Brent Alexander jumped on his back to celebrate a forced fumble.