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Hines Ward can make his case for Canton on Sunday

Hines Ward

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward talks to reporters during an NFL football news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are scheduled to host the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game on Sunday, Jan. 23. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AP

On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2011 will be selected. On Sunday, a number of players on the Packers and Steelers have a big opportunity to take some big steps toward enshrinement in the future.

NFL.com has a good look at the potential Hall of Famers who will step on the field on Sunday, a group led by Packers cornerback Charles Woodson and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

I think Woodson is very deserving, and Roethlisberger would certainly be close if he earns a third Super Bowl ring. But I also think there’s a very strong case to be made for Hines Ward.

If statistics were the only way to measure a wide receiver, Ward would probably fall short -- his stats don’t measure up to Cris Carter or Tim Brown, and neither of them has been voted in yet. But Ward is great in just about all the aspects of football that stats don’t measure. And if Ward, who has already won a Super Bowl MVP award, steps up with a big game in another Super Bowl on Sunday, that might be enough to punch his ticket to Canton.

My full case for Ward is here.