Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he is going to do everything in his power to play on Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, but it might not be up to him.
Roethlisberger, who did not practice again on Thursday, is hoping to practice before the extended week is over in order to start against the 49ers.
"I don't know if it's my decision," said Roethlisberger about playing. "I'm going to do everything I can to be out there; it's probably more on them. If I'm not out there it's probably because they didn't feel comfortable with me being out there to protect myself or whatever it is, they know better than I do.
"I can just tell them whether I think I can go or not and I think I can go all the time, so I'm going to do everything I can to be out there for this team."
Roethlisberger has been fit for a plastic brace that he could wear in practice and the game and said he has been getting continuous treatment for the ankle sprain.
"We're in there nonstop," said Roethlisberger. "I'm in there early; I'm in there at the beginning of practice. It's range of motion stuff, it's hot cups, it's hot tub, cold tub, resistance moving, massages, everything we can possibly do. We're doing everything we can."
Roethlisberger was walking around without the walking boot he had on Wednesday and indicated there has been progress thanks to the treatment.
"I can walk around now without a boot, not for very far or not very fast, but I can get around without a boot and it's good because we're trying to get the motion," he said. "The masseuse last night really got a lot of the swelling out so it actually kind of looks like an ankle now instead of just one big mass of fluid down there. We're definitely making big progress."
With a Monday night game the Steelers have an extra day of practice, allowing Roethlisberger more time to heal before a decision needs to be made.
"I'm taking one day at a time," said Roethlisberger. "So we'll keep working today and work tomorrow and get ready. The goal is as soon as possible get out there and get as much work in as I can.
"We've got an extra day which is a huge blessing."
Roethlisberger has heard other players talk about how painful a high ankle sprain is, but didn't realize it was that bad until now. But it's not the pain that is keeping him out of practice and questionable for the game, it's more.
"This one is just difficult because I can't do it," said Roethlisberger. "If it was just a matter of pain, I'd be out there. But it's physically being unable to do certain things. So I wish I was able to do everything and just have to deal with pain because I can do that, but it's difficult just not even being able to get out there."
The Steelers have two more practices, Friday and Saturday, to prepare for the 49ers and even if it's just one practice he gets, he would be okay with that.
"I've done it before, it's not ideal, especially against a great defense like this," said Roethlisberger. "It's definitely not ideal. But if I had to do it, I would do my best."