The veteran receiver did not play Sunday due to an ankle injury, but he told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he would have played if the Patriots had a better secondary.
"I probably could have forced it and played but we have some great wideouts," Ward said. "I wasn't really concerned. And against the Patriots, we felt we could exploit their secondary. That wasn't the same secondary that we played against a year ago. [James] Sanders, [Brandon] Meriweather wasn't back there and they let Leigh Bodden go. We kind of liked our matchups. So there was no need for me to try to force it and go."
Whether that's perceived as trash talk or brutal honesty depends on where you're from. The Patriots rank dead last in the NFL with 323 passing yards allowed per game. They surrendered 329 yards to Pittsburgh on Sunday, with Heath Miller and Mike Wallace combining for 14 catches and 155 yards.
The Steelers play division rival Baltimore this weekend, one that Ward said he can't afford to miss.
"I wouldn't have to force it to go out there, but I'm not missing this one," he said. "This is going to be fun."
Ward, 35, has 26 catches for 258 yards and two touchdowns this season.