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The last time the Broncos faced the Steelers, in

Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, safety David Bruton went home with a broken leg and a headache.

Bruton fractured his leg in the first quarter, then took a helmet-to-helmet hit by Steelers offensive lineman Cody Wallace two plays later.

Wallace was fined for the hit, but Bruton's teammates said that wasn't enough. Fellow Broncos safety Darian Stewart said the hit still irks him.

Stewart, who missed that game because of a hamstring injury, said the Broncos will be smart on the field Sunday when they play host to the Steelers in a divisional playoff game. But they will be keeping an eye on Wallace.

"It's not going to be anything as far as cheap or anything," Stewart said. "We're going to get him between the lines, between the whistles. He's going to be sore after the game, that's how I see it. He comes out on a screen, he better not come at (me). I'm cutting him. That's where I'm at with it. You got me mad right now just thinking about it."

Stewart hasn't practiced since aggravating a hamstring injury Jan. 3 against the Chargers, but said he expects to return to the field Wednesday and be healthy enough to play Sunday.

Harris eyeing return. Cornerback Chris Harris suffered a left shoulder injury in the Broncos' victory over the Chargers, and played through the pain. But he hasn't practiced since.


Harris said he expects to return to the practice field Wednesday and be ready to take the field against Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Unfinished business. The Broncos scored four touchdowns in the first half at Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, but were shut out in the second half, allowing the Steelers to come back from a 17-point deficit for the victory. Denver is hoping for a different outcome Sunday.

"It's the divisional round of the playoffs. You don't need too much motivation. If that ring isn't enough motivation for you then you're in the wrong business," cornerback Aqib Talib said.

Wild-card reminder. The Broncos' defense racked up its fair share of penalties and fines throughout the season, and coach Gary Kubiak said he expects a physical game Sunday when the Broncos host the Steelers.

Saturday's wild-card matchup between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh offered a not-so-subtle reminder about playing smart and not taking penalties.

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"What I learned is that you have to keep your composure. (Cincinnati) just lost their composure and some things," defensive end Malik Jackson said. "We learned a lot. Watch your composure. Coaches don't get on the field. Everybody just do your part. Don't do too much and don't be selfish, show your emotions and make it all about you." Nicki Jhabvala, The Denver Post