Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t want his sprained left ankle to keep him out of Pittsburgh’s regular-season finale Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
”As long as I can deal with pain, I’ll be out there,” Roethlisberger said Thursday. ”I don’t want to let the guys down, so I’ll do what I can to be out there.”
Roethlisberger, who sat out the Steelers’ win last Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, fully participated in practice again Thursday. He said the ankle, sprained on Dec. 8 in Pittsburgh’s last meeting with the Browns, was ”a little sore.” Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said he was ”much more” confident in Roethlisberger’s ability to play Sunday after watching his mobility improve in Thursday’s practice.
Roethlisberger will play if he’s healthy, Arians said.
”I want him out there but not at the risk of injuring himself,” Arians said. ”If he can’t move around and get out of the way, there’s no sense in getting him out there.”
There’s plenty at stake against the Browns as the Steelers (11-4) remain in the hunt for the AFC North championship. To win it, they need a win vs. Cleveland and hope the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
If Roethlisberger can’t play, 37-year-old Charlie Batch, who threw for 208 yards in the Steelers’ win over the Rams, is available.
Guard Doug Legursky (shoulder) and safety Troy Polamalu (knee) sat out for the second straight practice Thursday. Linebacker James Harrison, who sat out Wednesday’s practice with a neck injury, and receiver Mike Wallace (ankle), who was limited in practice Wednesday, participated fully Thursday.