The Steelers began their preparation for the New England Patriots on Wednesday, taking the field for practice without a few familiar faces out there.
Ben Roethlisberger sat out practice with a rib contusion he suffered on Sunday against the Raiders. Roethlisberger missed much of the second half of the game with the injury but returned late in the fourth quarter.
“We anticipate him being available to us,” said Coach Mike Tomlin as far as Roethlisberger playing this week. “Pain management through the week will probably be the storyline in terms of what he’s able to do from a physical preparation standpoint. But Ben has played a lot of football, and we have been in this situation with him a lot.”
Roethlisberger said on Wednesday morning that the ribs were, ‘fine, feeling good,’ but admitted that they can be bothersome.
“(The ribs) are not fun to deal with at times,” said Roethlisberger. “They wake you up when you are sleeping. You know what it is. You just go out and play football. Everyone in here is banged up, not just me.”
James Conner continues to be sidelined with an ankle sprain. Conner suffered the injury against the Los Angeles Chargers, and missed last week’s game against the Raiders.
“James Conner, with his ankle injury, had a really impressive week last week,” said Tomlin. “We’ll see what this week holds, and his availability will be based on his health and then his preparedness. We’ll see about his availability throughout the course of the week and let his availability and then the quality of that be our guide.”
In addition, Sean Davis who is bothered by a knee injury, and Marcus Gilbert, who has missed the past seven games with a knee injury, did not practice today. Anthony Chickillo was limited with an ankle injury.
Maurkice Pouncey didn’t practice, given the day off which is a normal procedure.
The full practice report is below.
Pittsburgh Steelers Participation/Injury Report, Week 15
Wednesday, December 12
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Ribs) – DNP
S Sean Davis (Knee) – DNP
RB James Conner (Ankle) – DNP
LB Anthony Chickillo (Ankle) – Limited
C Maurkice Pouncey (Coach’s Decision) – DNP
OT Marcus Gilbert (Knee) – DNP
New England Participation/Injury Report, Week 15
Wednesday, December 12
TE Dwayne Allen (Knee) – Full
CB Stephon Gilmore (Ankle) – Full