The left ankle of Ben Roethlisberger is starting to get a little better, but is still black and blue as he missed practice on Thursday but still plans on going Monday night against the 49ers in San Fran.
It was the third straight practice that Roethlisberger has missed, and he’s hoping another 24 hours of rest will help him avoid missing his first start due to injury in more than two years.
“The goal is as soon as possible to get in there and get in as much work as I can,” Roethlisberger said.
That might not be until Saturday at the earliest, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said the team could wait until after warmups against the 49ers to make a decision.
Veteran Charlie Batch will get the call if Roethlisberger can’t go, though Roethlisberger is doing everything he can to get ready.
Hot tubs. Cold tubs. Range of motion exercises. Massages. Roethlisberger was even fitted for a custom-made ankle brace on Thursday which he plans to wear whenever he returns.
While he’s no stranger to playing hurt — he’s already dealt with a sprained left foot and a fractured right thumb this year — the problem this time is the inability to execute even the most routine tasks.
“If this was just a matter of pain, I’d be out there, but it’s being physically unable to do certain things,” he said.