Roethlisberger practices, "prefers to play"

Ben Roethlisberger went through a complete practice for the first time in three weeks on Wednesday. Roethlisberger did not practice at all last week leading up to the Rams game and did not play.

"I feel like we've gotten a little bit better every day, no setbacks, so we'll give her a shot today and see how it feels," said Roethlisberger before practice. "I'd like to play just because I like being out there. But I don't know if I necessarily need it. It would be nice to get another week of rest, but I prefer to play."

After practice Roethlisberger's teammates thought that he looked ready to go.

"He looked all right," said Hines Ward. "I don't know if he really ran around or stuff like that. He looked good so, with a week (off), he's feeling a little better, it definitely helped him.

"I'm sure he wants to get a little playing time before we head to the playoffs, considering we don't know the circumstances of what's going to happen."

Roethlisberger expects to feel the pain in the ankle for the rest of the season, but will play through it as long as his mobility isn't a factor.

"The pain is always going to be there," said Roethlisberger. "I can deal with the pain. I'm not worried about that. I think the biggest thing is not setting myself up to get hurt in other ways or hurt it worse. If I'm just a sitting duck back there, that's probably not the smartest thing in the world to do, but like I said if it's just the pain I'll deal with that."


Right tackle Marcus Gilbert didn't start against the Rams for what Coach Mike Tomlin referred to as being "less than professional in preparation" leading up to the game.

"I wasn't on time to a meeting," explained Gilbert. "I had to accept the consequences. That was last week. This week is this week. I am just trying to get ready for the Browns.

"It was a mistake. Everybody makes them. I was in the building an hour before meetings. It was a mistake. It's something that I am trying to move past. My focus is just on the Browns."

Gilbert is hoping to earn his way back into the starting lineup this week and is on track to do so.

"It looks like it right now. I just want to move forward," said Gilbert. "It's in the past. I can't control it. I am just moving forward and looking towards this week.

"I am just going to take it day by day. Right now I am just getting ready to try to win a game."

Gilbert had started 12 of 14 games prior to the Rams game, starting week two after Willie Colon was injured in the season opener.

"It just made me feel like I let my teammates down," said Gilbert. "Coach had to do what he had to do. I had to put up with the consequences. I am just moving forward."

One thing Gilbert did say is he learned a valuable lesson and it's something he won't repeat.

"It won't happen again. Everybody makes mistakes," said Gilbert. "That was one of them. I can only control the things I can control. It sucked because this is the game I love playing. Not being out there, I felt that every step I wasn't out there I wasn't helping my team. Without football and playing for the Steelers, it just didn't feel right.

"You learn not to take the job for granted. It's something that I am glad it happened at an early age, especially at this time when we are real serious about this playoff run. I just can't let it happen again. I am glad this is out of the way and I am excited to move forward."


Linebacker LaMarr Woodley was limited in practice on Wednesday with a lingering hamstring injury, one that he expects to bother him the rest of the season.

"It's an injury that is going to be around for a while," said Woodley. "It's not going to be healed for the rest of the year. We all know that. It's a hamstring injury. When you think it's feeling good, you know it's not 100 percent and you still have to go out there and be able to push. There are always going to be minor setbacks. You have to be smart."

Woodley, who did not play last week against the Rams and has been inactive five of the last seven games, was asked if rotating with Jason Worilds to keep him fresh for the end of the game would benefit him.

"I never want to limit myself at all," said Woodley. "You want to be good for every quarter, not just the fourth. Every quarter counts. If it's up to me I will be out there playing the whole game."

Another player who would like to be playing a complete game this week is center Maurkice Pouncey.  Pouncey missed the last two games with an ankle injury, but practiced on Wednesday and expects to play Sunday against the Browns, even though he expected the same thing the last two weeks.  

"Most definitely. You should believe this one," said Pouncey. "I am fine, pain free right now."

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