Patriots’ Harrison will miss title game


BOSTON (AP) – The New England Patriots downgraded safety Rodney Harrison from doubtful to out Saturday for the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Harrison will miss today’s game at Indianapolis after straining his right knee in the Patriots’ last regular-season game, a 40-23 win over Tennessee, when he was blocked by wide receiver Bobby Wade.

The injury sidelined Harrison in the playoffs, including wins over the New York Jets and San Diego Chargers.

The game against the Titans was just his second after he missed six games with a broken right shoulder blade sustained when he was tackling Marvin Harrison in a 27-20 loss to the Colts in Foxborough.

Harrison participated in the opening of practice Thursday after missing the start the previous day. He flexed his strained right knee during the stretching portion that was open to the media and, after putting on his helmet, picked up a football before reporters and photographers left. On Wednesday, he walked without a limp in the locker room before his teammates left for the workout.

Last season, Harrison played only the first three games and missed both playoff games after tearing three ligaments in his left knee in a 23-20 win at Pittsburgh. He started the first eight regular-season games this season.

AP-ES-01-20-07 2003EST