Roethlisberger practices, aims for return Sunday

The SportsXchange

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday and could be available to play Sunday against San Diego depending on how he progresses during the week.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger will be given the opportunity to show he's capable of returning to action after missing three consecutive games with a shoulder injury and a dislocated rib.

Tomlin will judge Roethlisberger, who has never miss four straight games with an injury, on how he looks throwing the ball in full-squad drills.

If he's not ready to go, Tomlin will stick with veteran Charlie Batch. However, a team source told the Post-Gazette that Roethlisberger is expected to play Sunday.

"Obviously, Ben is our quarterback and if he's capable of playing, then we're going to play him," Tomlin said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "But we appreciate the efforts of Charlie and all the other men that step up when given an opportunity due to injury."

Tomlin indicated that Wednesday's practice was important in determining the team's plans for Sunday's home game. The practice reps will go to Batch, Roethlisberger and third-string Brian Hoyer. Byron Leftwich, who started one game, is recovering from broken ribs.

Roethlisberger threw the ball cautiously last week in practice and was ruled out of last Sunday's game against Baltimore on Friday.

Roethlisberger was injured in the Nov. 12 game against Kansas City.
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