- Egypt rights center raided, 2 Mubaraks acquitted
- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
Steelers hope to have Polamalu back for Ravens
Question of the Day
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Ben Roethlisberger took a break from changing his newborn son’s diapers to throw a few passes with his sprained right shoulder on Monday.
The Pittsburgh Steelers saw enough to ask their franchise quarterback to throw a few more over the next few days, hoping he can recover in time to salvage a season in danger of slipping through their fingers.
“We’ll leave the door open,” Tomlin said.
Or maybe just closed, but not locked.
Roethlisberger hasn’t played since getting slammed to the turf in the third quarter of a 16-13 overtime victory over Kansas City on Nov. 12, suffering a sprained right shoulder and dislocated rib. He’s spent time welcoming his son Ben Jr. _ born last Wednesday _ and watching his team lose consecutive games for the first time in three years while managing two offensive touchdowns in 10 quarters of work.
The nadir _ Pittsburgh hopes _ came in an eight-turnover, almost comically bad 20-14 loss to Cleveland last Sunday that left the Steelers at 6-5 and heading in the wrong direction as December begins.
“It’s quite amazing that you only lose by six,” Tomlin said, “when you provide that type of leg up to the opponent.”
One the Steelers hope to avoid even if backup Charlie Batch makes his second straight start. Though Roethlisberger appears to be a long shot at best, there’s a chance a few familiar faces could be in uniform against the Ravens (9-2), who could wrap up the AFC North title with a win over the Steelers and a Cincinnati Bengals loss.
Safety Troy Polamalu and wide receiver Antonio Brown could both play Sunday. Polamalu has been limited to just five quarters all season due to a right calf injury, though Tomlin said he’s “encouraged” by Polamalu’s progress.
Brown hasn’t played since injuring his ankle in a 24-20 win over the New York Giants on Nov. 4, and Pittsburgh’s receivers have struggled in his absence. Mike Wallace, a Pro Bowler a year ago, had just one catch against the Browns and couldn’t hold onto a pass that turned into one of Batch’s three interceptions.
Tomlin allowed Wallace is struggling and there’s a possible demotion in the works. Wallace has started 41 of Pittsburgh’s last 43 games, but the team listed as either Wallace or Emmanuel Sanders as the starter alongside Brown in the depth chart released Tuesday.
Neither is the running game, though the Steelers have settled on Jonathan Dwyer as a starter after unsuccessfully rotating Dwyer, Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman the last two weeks.
The trio managed just 32 yards on 15 carries _ and three fumbles _ in Cleveland, but the job is Dwyer’s to lose based on his steady (by comparison) performance this season. Dwyer has two of Pittsburgh’s three 100-yard games this year.
“We’ve been working under less than ideal circumstances shuffling those guys due to injury and lack of production,” Tomlin said. “But he’s healthy and most productive. He will get the bulk of the carries.”
Even if he’ll have to do it behind an offensive line so decimated by injuries that rookie Kelvin Beachum will start at right tackle against the Ravens after Mike Adams went down with a sprained ankle and starter Marcus Gilbert was placed on injured reserve Monday after his bum ankle failed to “perk up” despite nearly two months of treatment.
The Steelers activated first-round pick David DeCastro on Monday, but it’s unlikely the rookie right guard will be ready to play after just a handful of practices.
Not exactly the way the Steelers wanted to start December, though the players are hardly interested in excuses. They know they’re not alone in shuffling lineups in search of healthy bodies.
“You can’t count on guys who you don’t know if they’re going to be there or not,” nose tackle Casey Hampton said. “We have a good enough football team to win those types of games and we have to do it.”
Tomlin remains optimistic Batch can shake off his spotty play against the Browns to lead the Steelers to just their third win in Baltimore in their last 10 trips. There are no plans to go to recently signed Brian Hoyer.
Just, the Steelers hope, for not much longer.
NOTES: LB LaMarr Woodley (sprained ankle) is doubtful for the Ravens. He will be replaced by Jason Worilds if he can’t play … WR Jerricho Cotchery fractured ribs) ran on Monday and will participate in practice this week.
Follow Will Graves at www.twitter.com/WillGravesAP
By Michael P. Orsi
Edward Snowden should declare his patriotism in court
- Citing 'unfair system,' Obama commutes sentences for 8 crack offenders
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Special ops vets slam military benefit cuts
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Southern Fried Politics from the Lens of a Persian-American Millennial
All of the world’s problems, solved on your back porch
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow