Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expects to play in tomorrow’s regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns, as long as he can cope with the pain in his sprained left ankle.
The former Pro-Bowl selection suffered the injury on Dec. 8 in Pittsburgh’s most recent game against the Browns and he missed Saturday’s crushing 27-0 victory over the struggling St Louis Rams.
“As long as I can deal with pain, I’ll be out there,” Roethlisberger told reporters after a practice session on Thursday. “I don’t want to let the guys down, so I’ll do what I can to be out there. I’d like to play just because I like being out there. It would be nice to get another week of rest, but I prefer to play.”
Asked how the ankle had responded after two straight days of training, Roethlisberger said: “It’s a little sore today because I worked out on it yesterday. We will see how tomorrow goes and keep plugging away.”
The Steelers (11-4), last season’s Super Bowl runners-up, are already in the playoffs and so will likely be cautious over any players with injuries.
However, Pittsburgh can win the AFC North and claim top seeding in the conference if they beat the Browns on tomorrow and the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots each lose.