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Steelers' Tomlin says thumb injury shouldn't stop Big Ben

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger should be on the field and playing effectively Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs despite a fractured right thumb.

Roethlisberger broke the thumb during the second half of the Steelers' Nov. 13 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. He wore a splint under his glove and didn't take a snap from under center during Monday's practice. But Tomlin believed Roethlisberger threw well despite the pain.

"I thought he threw pretty well," Tomlin said. "There is a pain-tolerance issue. I am not overly concerned with his ability to be effective in the midst of this. Not at this juncture, no."

Roethlisberger has been expected to play after resting during the team's bye week, and this isn't the first time he has played with a busted thumb. He suffered a similar injury in 2005, though it didn't prevent him from leading the Steelers to their fifth Super Bowl title.

Tomlin said Roethlisberger's injury isn't as severe as Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's, which will sideline him for an unspecified amount of time.

"Ben has a right thumb fracture, of course not to the extent of say Cutler's," Tomlin said. "He's going to be able to play."

Tomlin also expects safety Troy Polamalu, slowed during the bye week with a rib injury, to play Sunday. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and wide receivers Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (knee) all practiced in a limited capacity, and Tomlin said coaches will monitor their status day by day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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