Ben Roethlisberger, who has missed the Steelers' past two games with injuries, could return next week vs. the Ravens. (Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers injured starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Monday that he's "going to try" to play next weekend against the Baltimore Ravens, in what has become an increasingly important game for his team.
"I'm going to try," Roethlisberger told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette when asked if he thought he could play against the Ravens. "It's killing me to watch."
Roethlisberger, though, will likely be handled with extremely cautious gloves by the Steelers and their medical staff, considering the potentially life-threatening nature of his dislocated rib injury if he were to play.
ESPN reported on Sunday that Roethlisberger was recovering well from the combination of the rib injury and an upper-chest injury, and that he could play as soon as Sunday against the Ravens.
The Steelers would surely welcome his re-addition to the lineup. Without Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh has turned to backups Byron Leftwich and Charlie Batch. Batch threw three interceptions on Sunday — part of the team’s eight turnovers — as the Steelers fell 20-14 to the Browns in Cleveland. Combined, the Steelers have put up just 17 offensive points in the last two games.
The Steelers head into next Sunday's matchup three games behind the Ravens in the NFC North with five games to play. More importantly, at this point, they are locked in a tie with the Cincinnati Bengals for the sixth and final AFC playoff spot.