Roethlisberger returns to practice

Pittsbugh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger returns to practice

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice on Wednesday and appears on track to return this weekend against San Diego.

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.

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