Hines Ward tumbles down Steelers depth chart

Hines Ward had been the heart and soul of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense for longer than many care to remember.

But in Sunday's 24-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Ward was mostly a spectator in some key situations, losing playing time to veteran Jerricho Cotchery, who had his first touchdown of the season.

Ward had suffered a concussion the week before in the Steelers' loss to Baltimore, but Coach Mike Tomlin said the receiver's health had nothing to do with the decision to play Ward less on Sunday against Cincinnati.

"We were just looking at some personnel groups and looking at ways we wanted to attack these people," Tomlin told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "We'll do that from week to week. It may not be any indication of his participation moving forward."

You can't blame Tomlin and the Steelers coaching staff if they feel Cotchery or anyone else gives them a better matchup in certain situations than Ward. But it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Ward that Tomlin indicated that his status in the lineup would be "week to week."

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com

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