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The Early Lead
Posted at 03:04 PM ET, 12/19/2011

Report: Roethlisberger expected to play; Steelers say he’s a game-time decision (updated)


Ben Roethlisberger will play tonight, despite suffering a high ankle sprain Dec. 8. (Christopher Horner / AP)
He hasn’t had much of a chance to practice since hurting his ankle Dec. 8, but Ben Roethlisberger started tonight against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Steelers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, made the decision before the Baltimore Ravens lost 34-14 to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday night. That loss put control of the division back in the Steelers’ hands.

On Sunday, Coach Mike Tomlin said he was “optimistic” Roethlisberger could play and said Roethlisberger “looked good” in practice Saturday. “His ankle was better than it was last Thursday,” Tomlin said. “Ben's competitive. Something like this stokes his fire. He loves a little adversity. But we won't be negligent. We'll see how it unfolds.”

Roethlisberger suffered a Grade I ankle sprain in the team’s victory over the Cleveland Browns and did not practice until Saturday. His activity was limited, but his familiarity with the offense reduces the amount of preparation required.

The Steelers will be playing without linebacker James Harrison, however. He’s serving the one-game suspension handed down for his hit on Colt McCoy in that Dec. 8 game.

MORE

Browns president Mike Holmgren says McCoy was not tested for concussion

Early Lead: Browns coach Pat Shurmur defends putting McCoy back into game

Early Lead: James Harrison suspended one game for hit on McCoy

NFL meets with Browns to discuss handling of McCoy’s concussion

Early Lead: McCoy’s father rips Browns for handling of concussion

By  |  03:04 PM ET, 12/19/2011

 
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