By Teresa Varley
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was feeling some pain in his shoulder after Sunday's game against Houston at Heinz Field, but it shouldn't impact his status when the Steelers travel to Cleveland this week.
Roethlisberger has a sore shoulder, the after effects of hitting the ground when he was sacked by Texans defensive end Mario Williams.
He is expected to be limited in practice on Wednesday, but should still start on Sunday night in Cleveland.
"We will see what he looks like when he comes in here (Wednesday)," said head coach Mike Tomlin. "I met with him; he was in the building getting treatment. It was just a little sore from playing in the football game."
Offensive tackle Marvel Smith (groin strain) and cornerback Deshea Townsend (heel contusion) will also be limited.
Many have predicted Cleveland to be the team to beat in the AFC North this year, including someone who will be on the sidelines on Sunday night – the Steelers sideline that is.
"I was one of the ones that said that they are the team to beat," said Tomlin. "Whether or not people agree with me, it is a tall challenge. Hopefully it motivates us; it better motivate us because it is real. That team won 10 football games last year and got better in the offseason with some free agent acquisitions, trades, and the like. You have to respect that I and think that we do."
The decision to make safety Anthony Smith one of the inactives against the Texans wasn't a reflection on Smith, but rather the fact that Tomlin wanted to have more lineman available to him.
"It was really about September football and being able to wage the battle of attrition on the lines of scrimmages," said Tomlin. "At times we have dressed seven offensive linemen; we dressed eight on Sunday. At times we have dressed five defensive linemen; on Sunday we dressed six and played all six a bunch. That was what it was all about for us.
"We didn't want to be down and tired in the fourth quarter of a football game with our big people. A lot has been written and said about the age of our defensive line; maybe there is strength in numbers and maybe we can keep the old guys up if we play a bunch of them. That was the approach and it really wasn't about Anthony Smith or any of the other guys that we chose to deactivate. It was about that strategy."
The Steelers added first-year wide receiver Martin Nance to their practice squad. Nance, who played with Ben Roethlisberger at Miami (Ohio), spent time with the Minnesota Vikings.