Roethlisberger practices, listed as questionable for Jags game
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice Friday after missing two days with soreness in his right shoulder, but the fourth-year veteran was officially listed as questionable on the club's injury report for Sunday's home game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
It is expected that Roethlisberger, who has started all 13 games for the Steelers, will start. But that determination likely won't be made until Sunday, when the Steelers see how his shoulder has responded to rest and treatment.
Ten-year veteran Charlie Batch, who has played sparingly in 2007 and thrown only five passes, would start if Roethlisberger cannot play. Batch, 33, has not started since the 2006 season opener.
It is not believed that Roethlisberger has any structural damage to his shoulder, but that he is suffering from general soreness and discomfort. He is likely to be less than 100 percent physically if he does play.
Roethlisberger, 25, is enjoying a career season, having completed 233 of 352 passes for 2,751 yards, with 26 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions, for a 101.4 passer rating. In the past four games, however, both he and the Pittsburgh offense have struggled at times. Roethlisberger has only four touchdown passes in that stretch but has been sacked 13 times.
He has not missed a start since the '06 season opener, when he was recovering from an appendectomy. The surgery came on the heels of Roethlisberger's serious injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident last spring. He has started the last 28 games in a row.
Steelers Pro Bowl strong safety Troy Polamalu, who has missed the last two games with a knee injury, will start on Sunday.
At 9-4, Pittsburgh leads the AFC North and can clinch the division title with a victory and a loss by the second-place Cleveland Browns. A win over the Jaguars would secure the Steelers at least a wild card playoff berth.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.
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