Roethlisberger Could Play With Broken Thumb

Who said there's no news in a bye week? Not Ben Roethlisberger, who talked about his thumb injury. Also, Bye Week Notebook includes information from Hines Ward, LaMarr Woodley and Mike Wallace.

PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger admitted to reporters Tuesday that he suffered a fractured right thumb Sunday at Cincinnati, but said that if the Steelers were scheduled to play this weekend he'd be able to play.

Roethlisberger wore a protective sleeve over his right thumb Tuesday at the Steelers' practice facility.

"I re-fractured it," he told two reporters. "How it happened I don't remember."

Roethlisberger did say the injury occurred sometime in the third quarter. He also believes it stems from a similar break in 2005 when he continued to play with a glove and went on to quarterback the Steelers to the NFL championship.

WARD THE CHEERLEADER

Hines Ward must've answered every question put to him Tuesday with the following: "I'll continue to work my butt off and help the team when my number is called."

The questions were in response to Ward's playing time having been severely cut Sunday against the Bengals.

Ward caught only one pass for 10 yards Sunday, while Jerricho Cotchery worked the middle of the field in Ward's place and caught 2 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown. Cotchery also had a touchdown called back and missed another when he stopped running for a Roethlisberger pass while open at the goal line.

Ward was asked for his "take" on the lack of playing time.

"I don't have a take," he said. "We won the game. That's the bottom line."

He said that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin did not explain the lack of playing time to Ward, nor should he have.

"They don't owe me anything," Ward said. "It is what it is. I'll continue to work my butt off."

Ward said that he was part of one of two 2-WR personnel groupings, but that the Steelers decided to use the other with Antonio Brown opposite Mike Wallace.

"It's not about me," Ward said. "It's about the team. Stories to be written and stuff like that – we're 7-3 going into the bye week. I'll continue being positive, keep going and keep working my butt off.

"It's different. It's a different role, but I'm still going to be the biggest cheerleader on the team because I want to win."

Ward says that he's healthy and "prays" that he can still reach the milestones he'd discussed prior to the season.

WOODLEY?

LaMarr Woodley said that his injured hamstring gets better every day, but wouldn't make any promises about playing in Kansas City two Sundays from now.

"Oh, we're gonna have to see," he said. "I don't know yet."

Woodley went down with the injury more than two weeks ago while coming free to potentially sack New England quarterback Tom Brady.

"Oh, yeah, that was going to be sack No. 3," Woodley said. "That was the thing that was going through my mind when I turned the corner and pulled the hamstring, I was ‘Ohhhh, I had the sack.' But it happened."

WALLACE WON'T SHUT DOWN

Mike Wallace thought at the beginning of the season that the Steelers' bye week was a bit too late this year. Now he thinks otherwise. "I think it's perfect," he said. "If we get to where we want to go, and that's the Super Bowl, that means the bye will come right in the middle of it, so that would be awesome."

Wallace said he needs the break, but is too much of a football junkie to shut down completely.

"I'm still going to put the film of Kansas City on my I-pad before I leave," he said. "I'll try to stay away from it as much as I can, but you can't. You don't want to miss it, man. There's a place we're trying to get to so you can't just stay completely away from it. You don't want to just lose focus all the way."

The Steelers will conduct their third and final light practice of the week on Wednesday before taking four days off.

MARV ALBERT IMITATION

What was Wallace's reaction to the Baltimore Ravens losing to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday?

"Yessssssssss!" he said.

And, his prediction on the Ravens-Bengals game this Sunday?

"I hope Cincinnati. I don't know who's going to win but I'm going for Cincinnati because of the situation we're in."

The 7-3 Steelers currently own division tiebreakers over the 6-3 Bengals, but not the 6-3 Ravens.


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