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Pennington ill but likely to play

All of a sudden, the New York Jets have issues at quarterback.

Chad Pennington missed practice Wed-nesday with a stomach virus, while backup Quincy Carterwent home to Georgia to be with his ailing mother. Pennington may not be able to practice today, but coach Herman Edwardsis confident his franchise player will be ready for Saturday's game against Pittsburgh.

"He'll play," Edwards said. "I would be shocked if he didn't."

Pennington came to Jets headquarters Wednesday and tried to practice, but Edwards took one look at him and sent him inside to get some rest. Carter went home Tuesday, so No. 3 quarterback Brooks Bollinger took the snaps with the first-team offense.

Edwards said he did not know when Carter would return. That means Bollinger would be the backup for the game, not exactly the ideal situation for the Jets, who need Pennington at his best to have a shot at beating the Steelers.

Pennington, who got sick from his wife and son, had intravenous fluids to help him get better. "Generally when guys get sick they have good games," said Edwards, who also is under the weather.

STEELERS: Linebackers Joey Porter and Kendrell Bell missed practice with flulike symptoms. The players became ill a day after all 53 Steelers players practiced together for the first time this season.

"I think it was, hopefully, a 24-hour thing," coach Bill Cowhersaid. "We didn't want to take any chances getting them around the rest of the players. Both guys will be back (today), ready to go."

PATRIOTS: Defensive end Richard Seymour was listed as questionable for Sunday's playoff game against the Colts. Seymour, a three-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman, has a knee injury that kept him out of the final regular-season game. He is a key to stopping Peyton Manning, especially with their top two cornerbacks, Ty Law and Tyrone Poole, on injured reserve.

COLTS: Like most of his teammates, Manning distanced himself from kicker Mike Vanderjagt's comments that the Patriots are "ripe for the picking." Manning, alluding to the Patriots' five-game winning streak against the Colts, said, "We have no room to talk. They have dominated us for the past number of years. We have an opportunity. That's all we have. It's pretty well documented, the respect I have for their players and staff."

_ TIMES WIRES

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