Big Ben insists he won't rule himself out vs. Browns

Ben Roethlisberger was carted off the field during a game for the second time this season on Sunday after suffering a mid-foot sprain during the Steelers' 38-35 win over the Oakland Raiders. NFL Media's Albert Breer reported at the time that the quarterback is expected to miss at least a few weeks with the injury.

An optimist would look at the team's Week 11 bye as a godsend and hope Landry Jones can get the Steelers past the Cleveland Browns in Week 10 and possibly set up Roethlisberger's return in Week 12 or 13.

Big Ben takes the optimism to another level, telling 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on Tuesday that he won't even count himself out this week.

"The bye will come at a good time, but I'm not even going to rule myself out this week," Roethlisberger said, via CBS Pittsburgh. "I'm going to take it one day at a time ...

"I can walk on it. I'm not running around or anything but the smart thing to do, from what doc has told me and the trainers is just to kinda keep ice on it and get the swelling out and just kind of rest it, let it heal."

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday that the door is "just slightly ajar" for Roethlisberger to start this weekend, per NFL Media's Aditi Kinkhabwala, but added "we anticipate playing without him."

While no one doubts Big Ben's toughness, a foot sprain needs time to heal, otherwise it will just nag and continue to disrupt his season. Roethlisberger might want to return to try and help keep the Steelers in playoff contention, but it remains highly unlikely he'll be allowed to play.

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