PITTSBURGH -- New England Patriots running back Corey Dillon was scratched from Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers with a thigh injury, and Pro Bowl cornerback Ty Law left in the first quarter with a foot injury.
Dillon, coming off consecutive 100-yard games, went into the day sixth in the NFL with 637 yards rushing and is averaging 106.1
yards a game. He had two 100-yard games in 13 previous games
against the Steelers, all with Cincinnati, but was held to 60 yards
or fewer in each of his previous four starts against them.
Law, one of the NFL's premier pass defenders, was injured
slipping on the Heinz Field turf, which is showing bare spots not
even halfway through the NFL season. Immediately after Law was
lifted, Ben Roethlisberger threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to
Plaxico Burress with Randall Gay, Law's replacement, in coverage.
The Patriots already were without their other starting
cornerback, Tyrone Poole, who sat out a second consecutive game
with an injured knee.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick downplayed Dillon's injury on
Friday, saying Dillon was "fine" and probable -- meaning he had a
75 percent chance of playing. Dillon was downgraded to questionable
later in the day.
Kevin Faulk, a sixth-year running back from LSU, replaced
Dillon. Faulk had 43 yards on 11 carries and a 3.9 average in three
games this season.