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Old 12-31-2008, 03:49 AM   #1
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Default Big Ben sits out practice

Big Ben sits out practice
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ben Roethlisberger watched practice Tuesday and quickly fled from the Steelers' locker room afterward.

The Steelers quarterback made a considerably less conspicuous exit than he did last Sunday, when he got carted off the playing surface at Heinz Field.

The concussion that Roethlisberger suffered in a 31-0 win over the Cleveland Browns doesn't look like it will have much bearing on the Steelers' AFC Divisional playoff game.

The Steelers will monitor Roethlisberger closely, but he's expected to be OK for the team's first playoff game. And coach Mike Tomlin didn't rule out Roethlisberger practicing before the Steelers take a three-day weekend to recharge and then resume their push to the Super Bowl.

"We're going to proceed slowly with him because we have that luxury," Tomlin said, "but we feel comfortable with where he is relative to (last) Sunday and where he's capable of being next week in preparation for our game."

The question of whether Roethlisberger could have played this weekend is a moot one since the Steelers received a first-round bye in the playoffs by going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North.

Roethlisberger hasn't talked publicly since he hit the back of his head on the turf at Heinz Field and stayed down for more than 10 minutes. He could address his situation today, as he normally speaks with reporters Wednesdays during the season.

"He seems all right -- a little sore but understandably so," said left tackle Max Starks, whose locker is next to Roethlisberger's at the Steelers' South Side training facility. "I'm just glad things aren't as bad as it looked Sunday. That's always a good sign."

Last Sunday marked the second time during Roethlisberger's Steelers career that he's been knocked out of a game with a concussion.

The last time it happened -- October 2006 --- Roethlisberger played the following week at Oakland, though he threw four interceptions in a 20-13 loss to the Raiders.

Tomlin said Roethlisberger already has started taking ImPACT tests, which the Steelers and other NFL teams use to gauge where a player is physically and mentally after sustaining a concussion.

The tests measure a number of things, including reaction time, visual and verbal memory and hand-eye coordination. Results are measured against baseline scores that are recorded before the season when players are healthy.

"I believe you take it every day until you start meeting your baseline scores," said strong safety Troy Polamalu, who played a week after sustaining a concussion in an Oct. 19 game against the Bengals.

Tomlin says he will follow the recommendation of the Steelers' medical staff when proceeding with Roethlisberger.

"There's never been a circumstance in the two years I've been here where they've given the green light on somebody and I've felt uncomfortable with it," Tomlin said. "If they err, they're going to err on the side of caution."

Tomlin didn't take a cautious approach to the Steelers' final regular-season game, even though his team already had wrapped up a division title and the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Tomlin played his key starters for most of the game and said he doesn't regret the decision, even with what happened to Roethlisberger.

"I never second-guess the decisions that we make," Tomlin said. "We're thoughtful in the process of coming to those decisions, and when we make them, we live with them.

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Old 12-31-2008, 03:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben sits out practice

Get rested up this week Ben and get ready for the playoffs next weekend.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben sits out practice

Nothing to see here......move along. I don't expect Ben to practice at all this week. He will be ready to go next week though.
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