Ben Roethlisberger (ribs) expects to play Week 15

Ben Roethlisberger missed four drives in Sunday's loss at Oakland after suffering a rib injury.

The Steelers quarterback said Tuesday on 93.7 The Fan he fully expects to play Sunday against the New England Patriots.

"No, no, I don't think so," responded when asked if there's any reason he wouldn't play versus the Patriots, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala.

After suffering the rib injury to end the first half, Big Ben said he got X-rays, but the results were inconclusive.

Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed Roethlisberger's timeline, taking a shot at the equipment in Oakland in the process.

"Ben sustained an injury at the end of the first half, we went in at halftime; he needed to be evaluated," Tomlin said Tuesday. "An X-ray was a part of that. Getting the X-ray executed was not a fluid thing and often times it's not a fluid thing to be honest with you. New and unfamiliar venues and things of that nature. Ben was accompanied by our medical staff and Kevin Colbert, our general manager. They went through their procedures. Even after getting the X-ray, we didn't have great clarity, to be honest with you. We weren't able to read the X-ray to our satisfaction. ... So we never really, fully had a complete understanding of specifically what the injury was at the stadium site."

Roethlisberger noted that he told coaches, "I'll give you everything I've got" at the time, but Tomlin decided to ride with Josh Dobbs the first four series of the second half.

After the Steelers got down 17-14, Big Ben returned to lead a go-ahead touchdown drive. After Oakland re-took the lead, Pittsburgh got in field-goal range to try and tie the game, but kicker Chris Boswell slipped and had the boot blocked.

Tomlin said Tuesday that part of the reason for holding Roethlisberger out until late in the fourth quarter was concern about whether the situation could worsen if the quarterback was hit again.

"Obviously he's got to be a willing participant in that and doctors have to get to a level of comfort, but acknowledging that level of comfort is including a lack of clarity ... because the X-ray was not clearly readable," Tomlin said. "Ben has been with us a long time, he does a great job of communicating. We all do, we have continuity in that regard. We did a great job communicating throughout. Once they came back out onto the field, I continued to communicate with Ben to see the effectiveness of the medication, to see how he felt he would be able to perform in terms of function and be able to do the things that he needed to do. ... We said that because of lack of information and the situation not being a comfortable or ideal one, we would only reinsert him into the game if we felt it was necessary. As the game unfolded, obviously it became necessary, we did [reinsert him]. We really appreciate what he was able to do and the effort that he was able to provide for those around him to give us a chance. Obviously it didn't end in the way we would like, but that's just kind of an outline of what transpired."

The Steelers' third straight loss makes Sunday's tilt against the Patriots massive for Pittsburgh. Having Big Ben in the lineup is important, but if Tomlin's defense gets diced up again, the season will continue to slip away.

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