Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced on Wednesday for the first time since dislocating a rib in an overtime win against Kansas City Nov. 12 and, barring any setbacks, could play on Sunday when the team hosts the San Diego Chargers, according to Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
Alan Robinson, Steelers beat reporter for The Pittsburtgh Tribune-Review, tweeted Wednesday afternoon after the practice that Roethlisberger will start Sunday assuming nothing out of the ordinary happens on Thursday and Friday. When he threw last week, he couldn't throw for any distance but that all seems changed now; Robinson reported that Roethlisberger took a majority of the snaps on Wednesday and head coach Mike Tomlin called the practice "positive" for his quarterback. Roethlisberger said there still a little bit of pain, but it didn't seem to be bothersome to the extent that he couldn't play anymore:
There’s a little bit of pain and tightness, but we’re not worried about that feeling right now."
Roethlisberger had initially been looking at a possible life-threatening injury because the rib that he dislocated had the potential to puncture his aorta. In addition to the rib injury, he had a sprained sternoclavicular joint which limited his ability to throw the football. He had missed the last three games for the team. Charlie Batch, who backed up "Big Ben" while he was out, had led the Steelers to a win over the Baltimore Ravens in their previous game on Dec.2. He said he's ready to start again if need be.