Roethlisberger to start Sunday vs. Chargers

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws during practice Wednesday at the team's South Side facility. Coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger, barring a setback, will start Sunday against San Diego.

By Alan Robinson
Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ben Roethlisberger will start at quarterback Sunday for the Steelers unless he has an unexpected setback in the next two days.

Roethlisberger took a majority of the snaps with the starters Wednesday in practice, and Tomlin said afterward, “We’ll see how his body responds (Thursday), and we’ll go from there, but it was a positive day today. He made all the necessary throws.”

Roethlisberger missed the past three games with a sprained sternoclavicular joint that inhibited his throwing and a rib dislocation and upper chest fracture that caused considerable pain.

He tried working in practice last week but couldn’t throw for any distance. As a result, Tomlin said during his weekly news conference Tuesday that Roethlisberger needed to prove he could make all the necessary throws before he resumed playing.

Roethlisberger did that Wednesday, and it was evident Tomlin was pleased with what he saw.

“He threw the ball around both horizontally and vertically,” Tomlin said. “I thought the ball had good velocity, particularly in a few instances. It was positive.”

Charlie Batch, who led the Steelers (7-5) past the Ravens 23-20 on Sunday, said before practice he was ready to start again. However, he will play against the Chargers (4- at Heinz Field only if Roethlisberger doesn’t respond well to his first full practice since Nov. 10.

“There’s a little bit of pain and tightness, but we’re not worried about that feeling right now,” Roethlisberger said.