Roethlisberger hasn't played since spraining his right shoulder and dislocating a rib in a 16-13 overtime victory over Kansas City on Nov. 12. He was limited in practice but coach Mike Tomlin was encouraged by Roethlisberger's performance.
Tomlin called it a ''positive'' day for his franchise quarterback but isn't quite ready to say Roethlisberger is ready to start against the reeling Chargers (4-8). Roethlisberger will throw again on Thursday and barring any setbacks he likely will be back in the lineup as Pittsburgh (7-5) tries to stay in the thick of the AFC playoff race.
The Steelers went 1-2 in Roethlisberger's absence, though the victory came in a rousing 23-20 win at rival Baltimore last Sunday behind veteran backup Charlie Batch.