"I think we're all competitors and we play to win," Tomlin said. "I know I do. Every time we come out of that tunnel, that's the intent. The ramifications, in regard to other teams, is irrelevant to me. It's more about the people that I come out of the tunnel with and our commitment to this organization, our fans, and our community, so when we come out, we play to win."
Faced with a similar situation last season, Tomlin started quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against Cleveland at home in a game that meant nothing to the Steelers. Roethlisberger was carted off on a stretcher in the game with a possible neck injury. He returned to start in the Super Bowl.
"I trust that those coaches are going to do what they feel is best for their football teams," Tomlin said. "I'm going to do what's best for mine. Very rarely do I pass judgment on decision-making of other coaches in regards to other teams, because I don't have a pulse on their group, what they need. I'm sure those guys do."
There also is some controversy in Pittsburgh over the NFL moving the Bengals-Jets game to prime time Sunday. If New England beats Houston, there will be little motivation for the Bengals, whose fate would be sealed as the No. 4 seed.
"I could care less how the Bengals approach what it is they do," Tomlin reiterated. "This is our bed. We're going to lay in it. We created this situation. What we are going to do is control what we can control, and that's our preparation of play for the game. We're not going to cry over spilled milk. If there's any level of disappointment in terms of how this thing unfolds, it's going to be on us."
* QB Ben Roethlisberger is on pace to finish this season with his highest average gain per pass. His 8.58-yard average ranks second in the league.
* WR Hines Ward now has two hamstring injuries. He has not missed a game, but he left Sunday's game in the fourth quarter.
* WR Santonio Holmes ranks third in the NFL with 1,243 receiving yards.
* TE Heath Miller's 71 receptions are a team record and rank third in the AFC among tight ends. Miller remains one of the better blocking tight ends in the league.
* RB Willie Parker has a shoulder injury and will not practice Wednesday. Parker, who entered the season as the starter for the fifth straight year, has only 104 yards rushing in the past six games.
* SS Troy Polamalu ran Monday and Tuesday in a straight line, and he might try to practice this week. He's missed the past six games with a sprained PCL in his left knee.
* DE Brett Keisel still has discomfort with stingers in his neck that have plagued him over the past two games and benched him late in Sunday's game.
* LB James Harrison's 10 sacks rank fourth in the AFC even though he has not had a sack in the past five games.
* CB Trae Williams was signed off Seattle's practice squad. He had been in training camp with Philadelphia this summer.
* CB Keenan Lewis was placed on injured reserve with a lingering back issue.
* G Chris Kemoeatu still has a sore left wrist that has kept him out of the past two games. He may try to practice again this week.