Steelers Notebook:

A busy day for the Pittsburgh Steelers: Roethlisberger update, Wallace & Mendenhall on their demotions; Troy Polamalu back on the field.

PITTSBURGH – Injured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger just threw softly during the individual portion of Wednesday's practice, and the word from a team source is that Roethlisberger will have to work through the tearing of scar tissue before he feels comfortable enough to throw with any kind of velocity.

No one knows if that will occur in time for Sunday's game at Baltimore, but Roethlisberger's teammates believe he'll make every attempt to play, even if he's not fully healed from the sprained S-C joint that has kept him out of the last two games.

"Ben's going to be Ben," said wide receiver Antonio Brown. "I'm pretty sure he's going to look forward to sucking it up."

Brown, meanwhile, returned to practice Wednesday after missing the last three games and most of a fourth with a sprained ankle.

"It was difficult for me to sit there and watch," said Brown, the team's 2011 MVP. "I'm thankful I can be out there this week and help out."

Brown explained that "when you put pressure on the ground and your ankle's still swollen, you kind of feel it through your leg and through your mind that the body doesn't want to do it. When you're coming out fast and you want to stop, it's hard to put on the brakes like you normally can do. It's a great thing that I'm back on my feet, I'm back running, and I look forward to being out there."

FRUSTRATION, PART I

In the three games Brown has missed, the Steelers' other wide receiver, Mike Wallace, caught only 8 passes for 49 yards, an average of 6.1 yards per catch, well off Wallace's career average of 18.7 yards per catch coming into the season.

In Sunday's loss to Cleveland, Wallace caught only 1 pass for 9 yards, and his coach, Mike Tomlin, had this to say:

"Mike was frustrated and rightfully so. He's not producing in the manner in which he'd like to, or which we'd like him to."

Tomlin also listed Wallace as a co-starter on the depth chart along with Emmanuel Sanders, a bit of a demotion for a player who's started 37 of the last 41 games in which he's played (including postseason).

"It really doesn't matter," said Wallace. "I still have to do what I have to do, no matter what the situation is. Coach does everything for a reason."

Wallace said he doesn't know if he'll start in Baltimore.

"If I'm out there I'll give it everything I've got. If not, I'll cheer whoever on."

Is he, as Tomlin put it, frustrated?

"I'm good," Wallace said. "Anybody, when you don't produce, you're going to be frustrated."

FRUSTRATION, PART II

Rashard Mendenhall has started 46 of the last 47 games in which he's played, but he won't start Sunday after Tomlin named Jonathan Dwyer the Steelers' starting running back this week.

Mendenhall is in the final year of his contract and could have started his final game with the Steelers.

"I don't really think too much of it," Mendenhall said when asked for his thoughts. "I will just approach this week the way I approach every week."

Does he see it as a permanent move?

"I don't know," he said. "I just take things day by day and move forward. There are always opportunities, and I will take advantage of any opportunity I get."

POLAMALU RETURNS

It had to be a big news day to knock Troy Polamalu's return to practice with the first team all the way down to the bottom of the notebook, but Polamalu didn't show up in the locker room for comment.

But Polamalu practiced without incident.

The players who did miss Wednesday's practice were RT Mike Adams (ankle), LG Willie Colon (knee), QB Byron Leftwich (ribs), LT Max Starks (back) and OLB LaMarr Woodley (ankle). Limited were Roethlisberger and WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs).


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