User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Steelers QB Roethlisberger testing hurt shoulder

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Ben Roethlisberger can hold his newborn son Ben Jr. in his injured right arm just fine, thanks.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback will be able to say the same about a football, even he's not sure.

Roethlisberger practiced in a limited role Thursday and appears a long shot to return for Sunday's game in Baltimore.

``There's always a chance,'' Roethlisberger offered somewhat hopefully.

The lengthy list of issues still plaguing Roethlisberger more than two weeks after he sprained his right shoulder and suffered a dislocated rib in a 16-13 overtime win against Kansas City, however, suggests he's still a week away from giving it a go.

Though the pain isn't quite as intense as it was in the days after Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali drilled Roethlisberger into the soggy Heinz Field turf, the two-time Super Bowl winner can still only sleep in certain positions at night. And while he's tested the shoulder this week, he's uncertain if he can make all the throws necessary to attack Baltimore's secondary.

``Can I put a lot of zip on the ball, throw it really hard before people like Ed Reed and defenders can get to the ball?'' Roethlisberger said. ``If I can't I'm not putting us in the best situation to win the game.''

The Steelers (6-5) have struggled in Roethlisberger's absence, needing overtime to beat the woeful Chiefs before looking listless at times and sloppy at others in losses to Baltimore and Cleveland. A season that looked promising after a 24-20 win over the defending Super Bowl-champion Giants in New Jersey on Nov. 4 is suddenly on very shaky ground.

Still, don't expect Roethlisberger to push too quickly. It's something he's done in the past, with less than desired results. He played on a battered right ankle in San Francisco last year, limping around in a 20-3 loss. He ended up sitting out the next week and wasn't the same when he returned.

``We've had people talk about last year in San Francisco, if I would have rested maybe I would have been better off the next couple games but to me, I live for the here and now,'' he said. ``I'm going to do everything I can to be out there and if it doesn't work then I'll do what I can about the next week.''

Offensive coordinator Todd Haley said Roethlisberger threw ``a little bit'' on Thursday but the team continues to prepare as if Charlie Batch will make his second straight start. Batch completed 20 of 34 passes for 199 yards and three costly interceptions against the Browns, mistakes Haley attributed to rusty timing more than physical ability.

``I don't think there's any limitations to what Chuck can do,'' Haley said, ``or needs to do with the guys we have.''

Roethlisberger remains optimistic Batch can muster some of the magic that helped him lead the Steelers to three victories since 2010 while filling in for his good friend.

``I firmly believe that,'' Roethlisberger said. ``They know what he's capable of. He's been doing it a long time. They respect him. I think he's ready to rise to the occasion.''

Something the Steelers need to do if they want to build any momentum going into the final quarter of the season. A loss in a place they struggle to play well in - no matter who is behind the center - would leave them with no wiggle room whenever Roethlisberger gets back to work.

The game's importance is not lost on Roethlisberger, who will wear ``juiced up'' pads to protect his shoulder, though doctors have told him the dislocated rib no longer poses a threat to his aorta.

That's welcome news for a guy in the first days of fatherhood. Roethlisberger called being a dad ``pretty cool'' and while he's enjoyed the time at home, he's also eager to go back to his job. If he doesn't play on Sunday he'll do what he's done the last two weeks and stand on the sideline - earbuds in place - and provide the kind of insight Batch has imparted on him so many times though the years.

``It's hard for me,'' Roethlisberger said. ``You watched me during these games. I've been on the field more than most of the coaches because I'm just antsy to get out there.''

That anxiousness, however, figures to be around for at least another week.


NOTES: While Roethlisberger is doubtful, S Troy Polamalu appears ready to play for the first time since Oct. 7. Polamalu practiced for the second straight day and barring a setback should be on the field in Baltimore. Polamalu has been limited to just five quarters all season due to a strained right calf ... Rookie G David DeCastro continued to make progress in his first week on the active roster after recovering from right knee surgery in August. Haley said he expects DeCastro to make an impact on the field before the end of the season.


Follow Will Graves at


Online: and

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

Marshall: Tech Trends - Week 8 Best Bets - Week 8 'Dogs to Watch - Week 8 Dak, Dallas getting noticed
Titans rout Jaguars, 'over' cashes
Broncos' C.J. Anderson has surgery
Dolphins' Landry fined for illegal block
Big Ben asks rival Brady for his jersey
Aldon Smith applies for reinstatement
Why Buy Picks From
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
14-2 L16 Totals, 9-1 Sun., 21-7 L28
13-3 G-Play Run, +1,095 TY
5-2 Sunday, 7-2 L9 G-Plays
9-1 Last 10 NFL Guarantees
6-0 Record L2 Sundays
4-1 Sunday, 10-4 L14 G-Plays
5-2 Sunday, 10-3 L13 Totals
10-3 L3 Sundays, 28-14 NFL Run
17-7 Last 24 NFL G-Plays
6-1 Thursdays TY, 13-6 L19 GPlays
4-2 Sunday, 4-1 G-Plays TY
6-1 Guaranteed Plays TY
6-2 Record Last 2 Weeks
9-4 Last 13 Guaranteed Plays
3-0 L3 Thurs., 10-5 L15 Picks
6-2 Last 8 NFL Guarantees
NFL Pro Football Expert Picks - Seattle Seahawks at New Orleans Saints
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 985
The Gold Sheet + 534
Michael Black + 479
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Micah Roberts + 780
Jimmy Boyd + 290
Kevin Rogers + 285
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Michael Black 59 %
Pat Hawkins 59 %
The Gold Sheet 57 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1060
Chip Chirimbes + 665
ASA + 631
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Paul Bovi + 542
Kevin Rogers + 465
Pat Hawkins + 370
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 810
Gary Bart + 654
Jimmy Boyd + 495
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership