Ward and Polamalu sat out the Steelers' 20-3 victory Sunday over
Tampa Bay and also won't play Thursday night against Cleveland.
Ward, a four-time Pro Bowl receiver who previously missed only
one game in his nine-season career, had surgery last week to remove
several bone fragments from his left knee. Polamalu, an All-Pro
safety last season, has a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Partly because of the short week of preparation before the
Browns game, coach Bill Cowher said Tuesday that both starting wide
receivers and safeties won't play. Also out are receiver Cedrick
Wilson (ankle) and safety Ryan Clark (groin), both of whom were
hurt against Tampa Bay.
Because of the injuries, second-year wide receiver Nate
Washington and rookie Santonio Holmes will start, as will rookie
safety Antonio Smith and veteran backup Tyrone Carter. Holmes and
Smith were the Steelers' top two draft picks in April.
"I have a lot of confidence in the guys that are out there,"
quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said of being without his two
Washington led the Steelers with three catches for 78 yards
against Tampa Bay.