Steelers expect recovering QB Roethlisberger to play vs. Raiders

PITTSBURGH -- Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has worked out without problems since missing last Sunday night's game in Baltimore with a concussion and is expected to play this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

Roethlisberger was held out of the 20-17 overtime loss to the Ravens after having post-practice headaches Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. A team doctor recommended Saturday that the quarterback not play, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin agreed.

The Steelers didn't practice Monday, but Roethlisberger worked out on his own and didn't have any problems, Tomlin said.

"All indications are he'll be a full participant tomorrow (Wednesday) in practice and ultimately play in the game on Sunday," Tomlin said Tuesday.

If the headaches should unexpectedly return, Tomlin said the Steelers will "act quickly" with Roethlisberger.

The two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback sustained his fourth concussion since 2006 and his second in less than a year during an overtime loss in Kansas City on Nov. 22. Neither Roethlisberger nor the Steelers revealed during the week that he was having headaches, one reason there was considerable surprise when it was announced he wouldn't play against the Ravens.

"There are codes that come with playing tough games like football that kind of conflict at times, with things that are of utmost importance like head injuries," Tomlin said. "I understand the gravity of the decision that we had to make on Saturday, the potential of that.

"I understand that if we allowed Ben to play that we'd be open to questions in regards to that. I thought that if we didn't allow Ben to play, that we'd be open to questions in regards to that. Really, it was irrelevant in terms of my decision making. I was more concerned about doing what was right. Medical experts suggested he not play, so we didn't play him."

Roethlisberger played the week after sustaining a concussion against the Atlanta Falcons in 2006, but he had one of the worst games of his career. He threw four interceptions -- two for touchdowns -- during a 20-13 loss to the Raiders, who won only one other game all season.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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