Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe missed his third day of practice on Friday because of the flu, and has been ruled questionable for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
“He’s taken in some fluids and is trying to keep those fluids in,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said of Bowe, the club’s second-leading receiver with 51 catches. “So we’ll just see how he does. He is making improvement.”
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali also was listed as questionable after missing his third day of practice because of a sore knee. The Chiefs held Hali out of practice on Friday because they worked indoors and did not want him running on the artificial turf. Reid said Hali will be available on Sunday.
If Bowe is unable to start, his role will be shared by Jason Avant and Frankie Hammond Jr. with Albert Wilson and Donnie Avery on the other side for the Chiefs, who have yet to complete a touchdown pass to a receiver.
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“We’ve just kind of put everyone in there, and we’ve moved people around,” Reid said. “I think he’s going to be ready. Right now, everybody’s jumped in and taken some reps.”
The Steelers listed cornerback Ike Taylor (shoulder/forearm) and safety Troy Polamalu (knee) as doubtful and tight end Matt Spaeth (elbow) as questionable.
The Chiefs have not intercepted a pass since Ron Parker picked off a pass against St. Louis on Oct. 26, a string of 291 passes without an interception.
The Chiefs, who tied for third in the NFL with interceptions last year, have just four this season, which ranks last in the league.
The franchise record for fewest interceptions in a season is four, set in 2012 when the Chiefs went 2-14.
“You just keep thinking that they are going to come to you,” Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton said. “But for whatever reason, we haven’t finished some of those plays off. We’ve done a better job on the explosive plays. That’s helped us.
“For most of the year we’ve done a pretty good job on third down. Anything you can do on defense to get the ball back, to me, is the most important thing that you are doing, whether you take it away with a takeaway or by downs.
“Also the fact that we’ve had games where our offense has kept the ball for a significant amount of time. Obviously, we play pretty good defense over on the bench. But, yeah, it’s really unusual … I can’t explain it; it’s just one of those things.”
Houston nears No. 20
Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston is tied with Baltimore’s Elvis Dumervil for the NFL lead with 17 sacks. That’s three short of the club-record 20 set by Derrick Thomas in 1990, but Houston doesn’t consider 20 a magic number.
“The magic number is a W,” Houston said. “I’m here to play the game to win. I’ll look at that at the season. That doesn’t matter. If I was in this for myself, I’d be happy (with 20), but it’s a team effort, and I want to win.”
Charles in documentary
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles and Philadelphia running back Darren Sproles of Olathe are participating in the fourth annual USA Network’s NFL Characters Unite, a one-hour film that will premiere on Feb. 6.
The film follows four NFL standouts — Charles, Sproles, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman and Buffalo outside linebacker Mario Williams — and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll as they help a youngster in each of their communities overcome bullying and discrimination.