By Teresa Varley
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice on Monday, his first time back since suffering a concussion against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field on Dec. 28.
Roethlisberger said that he passed a computerized concussion test on Monday morning, clearing him to return to practice and that he felt close to 100 percent.
He also has no doubt that he will play on Sunday when the Steelers take on the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field.
"I plan on being out there 100 percent ready to go," said Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger said that there were some scary moments after the hit that caused the concussion, as he couldn't feel his arms while lying on the ground at Heinz Field.
"They pricked me with a pin and I couldn't feel it," said Roethlisberger. "When you see the doctor look at the trainer with that look, it kind of scares you a little bit."
But that fear is gone and he has no worries about playing against the Chargers, knowing that he might take some hits.
"You can't afford to," said Roethlisberger of having fear. "It's just like when a player comes off knee surgery, or some kind of injury, you can't go out there and play afraid, play scared to be hurt, because that's when you get hurt. So I'm going to go out there and play normal football. If I get hit, I get hit."
Roethlisberger was a spectator at practice last week as the Steelers had the luxury of a bye week.
"It's nice that we had the week off," said Roethlisberger. "That's a big help."
He isn't expected to have to undergo any more tests for the concussion this week, but he will face a big one on Sunday.
"They're a good football team playing great football right now," said Roethlisberger. "They're bringing it. They've been playing, for the last month or two, playoff-caliber football. It's going to take our best shot. Last time we played them we squeezed out a baseball-score victory. It's going to take our best."