Around The League: Week 17

News, notes and updates from around the NFL. Roethlieberger, Tony Romo, Mark Ingram, Tom Brady and more.

    Ben Roethlisberger plans to be on the field against the Browns on Sunday when the Steelers have a chance to win the AFC North and earn the No. 2 seed in the conference playoffs.

   Roethlisberger sat out the Christmas Eve rout of the Rams with a high left ankle sprain, an injury incurred in the previous meeting with Cleveland, Dec. 8. He played the next week, a Monday night loss at San Francisco, but his lack of mobility and limited range of motion proved detrimental to the offense.

   Head coach Mike Tomlin took the decisino out of Roethlisberger's hands last week, sitting him in favor of veteran Charlie Batch. The week of rest made a difference for Roethlisberger, who said he has only mild soreness after two straight days of practice this week.

   "As long as I can deal with pain, I'll be out there," Roethlisberger said. "I don't want to let the guys down, so I'll do what I can to be out there."

   Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Tomlin both praised Roethlisberger's practice performance this week and said he looks recovered. Whether he's on the field Sunday isn't as certain to Arians, who cited concern Roethlisberger won't be able to adequately move around and dodge oncoming pass rushers.

   Batch has taken reps with the first-team offense and is available to start if Roethlisberger cannot. Batch had 208 yards passing last week.

   The Steelers (11-4) need to beat the Browns but also pull for the Bengals to defeat the Ravens, who are currently in first place in the AFC North. If the Steelers and Bengals win, Pittsburgh earns the No. 2 seed, bye week and home-field in the second round of the postseason.

   --Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was seen working with the team during the portion of Thursday's practice open to the media after sitting out Wednesday, according to the Boston Herald.

   The Patriots listed the reason for Brady missing Wednesday's practice as been non-injury related. He's expected to play against Buffalo on Sunday despite reports indicating he "dinged" his shoulder against Miami last week. Brady said he has played through worse.

   Brady reportedly had X-rays taken Saturday after his left shoulder was injured on a fall after a quarterback sneak in the comeback win over the Dolphins on Christmas Eve.

   Brady met with media Wednesday and said he wasn't concerned about his shoulder and his entire focus was on Sunday's game with the Bills.

   --Browns quarterback Colt McCoy spoke publicly for the first time in the 21 days that have passed since he suffered a concussion against the Steelers on Dec. 8.

   McCoy was injured in a helmet-to-helmet collision with Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison. The Browns' medical staff assisted McCoy off the field but, not suspected he was concussed, allowed McCoy to return to the game. His father, a high school coach in Texas, criticized the Browns and team doctors saying head-injury symptoms were blatantly obvious to even casual observers.

   "Our medical staff does an outstanding job and that should never be in question," Colt McCoy said.

   --Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo wore a protective wrap on his swollen right hand as he threw a few soft passes at the beginning of Thursday's practice, according to the NFL Network.

   Romo's bruised hand is still experiencing swelling after he hit it on the helmet of Eagles defensive end Jason Babin on Saturday. However, the Cowboys expect him to be able to play in Sunday's winner-takes-all game at the New York Giants for the NFC East title.

   Romo wasn't wearing the wrap Wednesday, but did said he was experimenting with potentially wearing a glove.

   --Saints rookie running back Mark Ingram was held out of practice Thursday when he experienced a setback in his recovery from a turf toe injury, coach Sean Payton said.

   Ingram is third on the team in rushing with 474 yards and tied with Pierre Thomas with five rushing touchdowns but he's likely to miss his sixth game this season after the toe problem flared up Wednesday. Ingram last played Dec. 4 but left that game against the Lions with soreness.

   --Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb said he needs a few weeks rest before he'll be fully recovered from a concussion and will miss a third straight game -- and seventh this season. John Skelton, who is 4-2 as a starter this season, gets his seventh start Sunday against the Seahawks.

   --Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and TE Jermichael Finley (knee) were back at practice Thursday. Both players were limited and aren't likely to play Sunday with Green Bay's top seed in the NFC locked up.

   --Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is scheduled for surgery Friday to repair torn ligaments in his knee. He injured his left knee at Washington on Christmas Eve. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery in Alabama. Peterson said he expects to be fully recovered in time for the Vikings' 2012 season opener but plans to do his rull rehab and recovery program at home in Texas.

Patriots Insider Top Stories