Amy Sancetta, Associated Press
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward (86) tries to leap over Cleveland Browns defensive back Dimitri Patterson (21) after a 9-yard reception in the third quarter of their NFL football game on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has become the eighth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions.

Ward caught a shovel pass in the fourth quarter from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and although it lost three yards, it made him the first Pittsburgh receiver to reach the milestone. Ward and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice are the only players with 1,000 receptions and more than one Super Bowl win.

After the catch, Ward came to the sideline, was embraced by his teammates and saluted by thousands of Pittsburgh fans.

Ward is in his 14th season as a pro — all with Pittsburgh.