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Ben Roethlisberger to try to play in Steelers-Ravens

The 6-5 Pittsburgh Steelers sit three games behind the 9-2 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North. Until quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returns, that gap promises to grow.

Roethlisberger has missed two straight games with a rare rib and shoulder injury, but hopes to play in Sunday's second and final regular-season meeting with the Ravens.

"I'm going to try," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday. "It's killing me to watch."

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reportedBig Ben will start soft-tossing the ball early this week to examine his range of motion and work through the pain, according to team sources. Mortensen stated doctors have determined Roethlisberger's rib has healed to the point where further damage isn't a risk.

The Steelers were a mess in Sunday's loss to the Cleveland Browns. Mistakes, breakdowns and a sense of confusion dominated their ugly outing. Backup Charlie Batch doesn't give the Steelers a chance to win down the stretch.

Roethlisberger is needed to save the season. His return is uncertain and boils down to pain-tolerance and mobility, but Ravens running back Ray Rice harbors no doubts about Big Ben's status for Sunday's grudge match.

"I don't know what kind of medicine the Steelers will put Ben Roethlisberger on this week," Rice told SI's Peter King, "but they're going to give him something."

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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