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Ben: 'I was told I could practice'


Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he was told he can practice today after sustaining what was classified as a concussion by Coach Mike Tomlin and being placed in concussion protocol.  "I took the test this morning, I was told I could practice," said Roethlisberger. "That is all I know. I don't know the results of the test, but I was told I could practice. Until Coach Tomlin announces something different, I will be ready to practice."

Roethlisberger self-reported his injury on the sidelines late in the fourth quarter of the Steelers-Seahawks game, stating that he didn't feel any of the symptoms that come with a concussion at the time. He left the game in favor of Landry Jones, but sad said he is moving forward with the mindset that he will play this Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts at Heinz Field.

"I would assume so," said Roethlisberger in regards to playing this week. "I guess if you are allowed to practice, you can play. I will go out there today and be ready to go."

Roethlisberger said it was important for him to self-report the injury, something he admits he might not have done as a younger player, even if it helps one player at the earliest level to the NFL realize the importance.

"We are blessed to be able to stand on a big platform and reach a lot of people. If you can touch or reach one person, I feel like it's a successful day. So many young kids, middle school, high school or college, it's tough to fight through a concussion. And it was tough when I first got in the league. It probably still is. But it's not smart. That's the one part of your body you shouldn't mess with. You really shouldn't.

"We need to be smarter as football players. It's hard because people ask me how long I want to play. And I say I don't want to think about the end because I am cheating the right here and now. In a way it's kind of the same thing. You don't want to think about after football with your head, but you have to. You have to think about the type of man, husband and father you want to be when you are done playing, because this is such a short part of our lives."

More from Ben:

On if he would have gone back in to the game if Seattle turned the ball over:
"As a competitor it's hard not to want to be out there. I was literally standing there for the first time thinking that it's bigger than just me. It's about my family, my wife and my kids. It still would have been hard, but I still told the doctors what had happened. They weren't going to let me in anyway. I probably still would have tried but I may have gotten to like the sideline and then backed off."

On when his mindset changed as far as reporting it:
"I don't know. There are just so many players, Junior Seau and Frank Gifford, you just see all this stuff. Even a close friends of mine, Merril Hoge, you see the ramifications in players 10, 20, 30 years after they're done playing. It's sad, and I don't want my teammates, my linemen, my running backs and everybody you've played with, when you have reunions, when we have this Super Bowl XL reunion however many years from now, I don't want guys hobbling on the sidelines and drooling and not being able to remember things. So, I think we all need to speak up about it."

On red-zone efficiency:
"Percentage-wise, you know we score every time we're down there. We may not score touchdowns every time, but we're scoring every time we're down there. We're doing some really good things. I think we were 2-4 with touchdowns last week. That's scoring points, but we need to try to be 100% [with touchdowns]."On Markus Wheaton:"I've always had a ton of confidence in Markus. I hope that this has helped build his confidence and hopefully he'll continue to grow. And I know he will, because he's a guy who works really hard and wants to be great. I was just really happy for him."

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