Big Ben still ticking for the Steelers

first_imgPittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger not only doesn’t have a serious knee injury, as the team initially feared Monday night in San Diego, he could play again as early as Sunday. After an eventful 24 hours in which the Steelers rallied to win 24-22 after blowing a 14-point lead, lost their star quarterback to what looked to be a frightful injury, and flew all night, coach Bill Cowher was more relieved than happy. And he was very happy. Roethlisberger sustained a hyperextended left knee and a bone bruise with 1:05 remaining in the game but nothing else. “I think we’ll all have a deep sigh of relief in regards to the diagnosis,” Cowher said Tuesday after Roethlisberger had an MRI exam. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Another cause for worry was that backup QB Tommy Maddox sat out Monday with a calf injury that occurred Friday in practice. But there was a favorable medical report on Maddox, too; instead of being out 3-4 weeks, he could be ready as soon as Sunday, too. Still, to protect themselves, the Steelers signed former Pitt and Carolina Panthers quarterback Rod Rutherford to their practice squad. Despite the much better than expected medical news, it seems unlikely the Steelers would rush back Roethlisberger to play Sunday against Jacksonville. For now, Cowher said, “Charlie Batch is the starter by default until I see more. … We’ll see how the week progresses.” Holcomb wants more QB Kelly Holcomb doesn’t know if he’ll get his second consecutive start in place of J.P. Losman when the Buffalo Bills host the New York Jets on Sunday. Nor will he venture a guess. center_img Holcomb said he hadn’t been informed of the team’s plans and knows better than to get his hopes up after 10 NFL seasons as a journeyman backup quarterback. That doesn’t mean Holcomb doesn’t believe he deserves another shot to start over Losman after reviving a sputtering offense and helping Buffalo (2-3) end a three-game skid in a 20-14 win over Miami last weekend. “Yeah, I’d be frustrated, I’d be disappointed,” Holcomb said. “But I’ve been disappointed before in my life.” Making his first start for Buffalo and the 14th of his career, Holcomb went 20 of 26 for 169 yards and a TD, efficiently engineering scoring drives on each of Buffalo’s first three possessions. That’s a big turnaround for an offense that had managed 29 points in its previous 14 quarters. “I would certainly hope that I am starting,” he said. “I think that right now, I’m going into it as thinking that, but who knows?” Warfield back in K.C. Eric Warfield is out of jail and off house arrest and finally out from under that four-game suspension by the NFL. Now, if only he can get out of coach Dick Vermeil’s doghouse. Vermeil welcomed back Warfield this week from a four-game suspension for felony conviction of DUI, but made it clear that Dexter McCleon, not Warfield, will be the starting right cornerback Sunday when Kansas City hosts Washington. “Chances are he’ll be active this week, but not in a starting role, but (in a) special teams role and a backup role or maybe a limited package role,” Vermeil said. So what will it take for Warfield to regain his starting role? The eight-year veteran has been the Chiefs’ best defensive back the past several years and is bigger and more physical than McCleon. “He’s going to have to look like a starter on the practice field, and look better, when he does play, than Dexter,” Vermeil said. Around the league Jesse Chatman was acquired by the Saints from the Dolphins to provide depth at running back in the absence of the injured Deuce McAllister. The Dolphins will receive a conditional future draft choice in the deal. Linebacker Zeke Moreno signed a one-year contract with the Eagles, who in turn released linebacker Mike Labinjo and defensive end Alonzo Jackson. Lee Suggs, a breakaway back whose brief NFL career has been slowed by assorted injuries, broke his right thumb during Sunday’s win over the Chicago Bears and will be out at least four weeks. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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