Steelers QB Roethlisberger practices, wants to play Sunday

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) - Three days after being knocked unconscious, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice.

Roethlisberger is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

Last Sunday, Roethlisberger suffered a blow to the head and was knocked unconscious in the third quarter of a 41-38 overtime loss to Atlanta.

Roethlisberger was expected to rest until Friday. But he took practice reps with the team on Wednesday.

“I’m going to try and play (on Sunday),” Roethlisberger said. “I feel with the help of the medical staff here I can be ready to go.”

Steelers coach Bill Cowher will continue to monitor Roethlisberger’s progress through the week before making a decision on his status.

“Hopefully, I can convince him (Cowher) to let me play,” Roethlisberger said after Wednesday’s practice.

Roethlisberger completed 16-of-22 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns before he was hit in the head by Falcons defensive end Chauncey Davis with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

After lying on the field for several minutes, Roethlisberger was helped to the sideline and then carted into the locker room. He returned to the sideline in the fourth quarter, but backup Charlie Batch played the rest of the way for the Steelers and threw for 195 yards and two touchdowns.

After becoming the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl last February at the age of 23, Roethlisberger has endured numerous setbacks.

Roethlisberger suffered serious facial injuries in a June 12 motorcycle accident that nearly took his life. Then he underwent an emergency appendectomy on September 3, four days before the season opener.

Batch started the opener and passed for three touchdowns in a 28-17 victory over Miami.

Roethlisberger returned the following week but lost his first three starts with zero touchdowns and seven interceptions. On October 15, he threw for 238 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-7 win over Kansas City.

The 11th overall pick in the 2004 draft, Roethlisberger owns a 28-8 record, including 5-1 in the playoffs, as a starter. He is the first quarterback in the modern era to start a conference championship game in each of his first two NFL seasons.

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Updated Wednesday, Oct 25, 2006