Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was active and expected to play in Monday night's game against the San Francisco 49ers, one day after coach Mike Tomlin said he felt good about his signal-caller's chances of gutting through his ankle injury.
"I'm optimistic," Tomlin told ESPN on Sunday. "If he's healthy enough to play, he'll play."
Tomlin said Roethlisberger looked good in practice Saturday, adding, "His ankle was better than it was Dec. 8 (when he injured it against the Cleveland Browns)."
Roethlisberger was limited in practice Saturday for the second consecutive time.
NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported Sunday, citing a team source, that the Steelers had yet to make a decision on Roethlisberger, but the outcome of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers would play a role in their plans. The Ravens' loss means a win by the Steelers would give them sole possession of first place in the AFC North, a scenario which La Canfora reported would make it more likely Roethlisberger would suit up.