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NFL Playoffs | AFC NOTES

Steelers' Logan Is Out for Rest of the Playoffs

January 07, 2003|From Times wire services

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost safety Mike Logan for the rest of the playoffs after he injured his right knee during Sunday's 36-33 victory over Cleveland.

Logan had surgery Monday to repair a hyperextended left knee that he injured while returning an interception midway through the third quarter.

Logan had 42 tackles, one interception and half a sack in 14 games as a backup to Lee Flowers and Brent Alexander.

Pittsburgh signed safety Erik Totten from its practice squad to replace Logan. The Steelers play Tennessee on Saturday in a divisional playoff game.

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Frank Middleton casually mentioned his "friend" on the New York Jets' defensive line -- and he didn't make it very difficult to figure out who he was talking about.

The left guard for the Oakland Raiders had been crossing his fingers he'd get another shot at the Jets, in particular defensive tackle Josh Evans, and he will when the AFC West champions open the playoffs at home Sunday.

Middleton got his wish thanks to the Jets' 41-0 win over Indianapolis in the wild-card playoff round.

"I got a friend on their line and am looking forward to playing against them again," he said with a smile. "No names, no names. It's a fine team and every time we play them we have fun, and I like having fun."

Evans cursed Middleton, accusing him of dirty play, after the Raiders' 26-20 victory over the Jets on Dec. 2 in Oakland, and said the officials let the Raiders "get away with murder."

"Believe it. Believe it," Evans said Monday. "Middleton is one of the dirtiest players in the game. But I kind of like playing them. It's a punch here, a punch there, they try to gouge your eyes or kick you. That stuff doesn't matter. I can give as well as receive. But when they go for your knees and ankles, that's too much."

The players seem to be ready for the rematch.

Some of the Raiders eagerly pointed out a sign in their locker room bearing words uttered by Jet offensive lineman Dave Szott after the first game between the two.

It said: "I think if you look at that game, we just ran out of time. It's not like they clearly beat us."

It's not surprising these two teams have bad blood. Sunday's game will be the sixth meeting between the teams in four seasons, four of those in the last 20 games. All of those games have been in Oakland.

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