Roethlisberger wants to play Sunday


By Teresa Varley

The biggest question mark for the Steelers heading into the Colts game is who will start at quarterback.

Ben Roethlisberger sat out of practice on Wednesday after he aggravated his shoulder against the Redskins. Byron Leftwich got the snaps with the first team, something that has been commonplace on Wednesdays this season as Roethlisberger has been given a rest here and there.

"It's good to get those reps," said Leftwich. "I am getting more comfortable with the offense, more comfortable with the system. But those Wednesdays I try to use that time to try to throw to Nate (Washington), Santonio (Holmes) and Hines (Ward). Coming into this thing I didn't have the chance to throw to those guys."

Time will tell if those Wednesday reps extend into Thursday and Friday of this week. Roethlisberger said he was feeling sore still, but that has been the case throughout the season after he suffered the injury against the Houston Texans in the season opener.

"(I'll practice) as soon as I can, as soon as I'm able to," said Roethlisberger. "We'll see when that is. We'll see how it is (Thursday) and go from there. I'll let coach know how I feel and then he obviously makes the ultimate decision on what happens."

Roethlisberger is hoping to play against the Colts this week and doesn't like to even think about missing a game, even if it means giving the shoulder a rest to get healthy.

"We took a week off for the bye week and it still didn't get to 100 percent so I don't think it would help," said Roethlisberger. "That would hurt me. That would hurt my heart more than anything. I told my guys before until they carry me off the field, I want to be out there with you guys. I'm going to do everything I can to be out there."

Roethlisberger stressed that despite the team's 6-2 record that he isn't pleased with his performance in the first half of the season and that he plans on improving during the home stretch.

"This is the second half of the season for us and for me," said Roethlisberger. "You'll see a different quarterback and a different offense I think.

"I have played sub-par football to date. It's time for that to change and it will change. I think as my performance changes, I think you'll see some changes in the offense because we'll be clicking more, we'll be making more completions and things will happen nice."

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