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Martin Sits Out Pittsburgh Game

January 3, 1998

PITTSBURGH (AP) _ Curtis Martin returned to his native Pittsburgh on Saturday, but the New England running back didn’t play against the Steelers because of abdominal and groin injuries, sat out his fifth consecutive game.

Dave Meggett, questionable with groin and hamstring problems, suited up for the Patriots’ AFC semifinal playoff, but did not handle his usual return duties on the Steelers’ first two kickoffs. He played on punt returns.

Martin, who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his three NFL seasons, missed his first pro game with a separated shoulder that he injured Nov. 30 in a 26-20 win at Jacksonville. He has missed five straight games since then.

The shoulder improved, but the abdominal injury suffered early in the season, which also affects his groin, got worse.

In last season’s AFC semifinal, a 28-3 win over Pittsburgh in Foxboro, Mass., Martin, who played at the University of Pittsburgh, ran for 166 yards and three touchdowns. He missed Pittsburgh’s 24-21 overtime win at Foxboro this season.

He finished the year with 1,160 yards rushing in 13 games.

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