Despite a recent injury to his right throwing shoulder, Ben Roethlisberger still plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers' match against the Denver Broncos on Sunday's AFC Divisional Round.
The 33-year-old quarterback sustained a sprained AC joint in Pittsburgh's comeback victory over the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend. He went down late in the third quarter as he was hit by linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Roethlisberger was replaced by fellow QB Landry Jones for nearly the entire fourth quarter before returning for the team's game-winning drive.
It was confirmed on Tuesday that he also had torn ligaments in his shoulder. He practiced for the first time on Friday and was listed as questionable for Sunday's match in Denver. A source told ESPN that the Steelers were pleased enough with "Big Ben's" throwing session during said practice that he became less of a question mark for the upcoming showdown.
If Roethlisberger still cannot go or is ineffective, the team have Landry Jones prepared to fill in for him. Both Roethlisberger and Jones are the active quarterbacks, while third-stringer Mike Vick, wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back DeAngelo Williams have all been put on the inactive list for this week.
"Of course, the assumption would be, considering the type of injuries he has, that he'll be a little limited today. But my understanding is that's not really the case. I would expect to see Roethlisberger - arm-strength-wise - actually himself on the field. They should have the full playbook available," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the NFL has slapped Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter and offensive line coach Mike Munchak with a $10,000 fine each for their actions during the team's match versus the Bengals last Saturday, Rapoport further reports.
Porter was fined for being on the field and reportedly inciting the players. He had a run-in with Bengals cornerback Adam Jones during an injury timeout while Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was being tended to following a nasty contact with Vontaze Burfict. According to league rules, only the head coach and medical staff can come out during an injury, which was the time the Steelers coach was on the field drawing the flag.
Munchak, on the other hand, was given a 15-yard penalty for his actions when Reggie Nelson ran onto the Steelers' sideline as the game ended. The offensive line coach appeared to shove the Bengals safety and grab his hair.
Players who were fined include Bengals defensive end Wallace Gibberry, Bengals defensive tackle Domato Peko, and Steelers offensive lineman Roman Foster. It was Adam Jones who received the biggest blow to his wallet as the NFL fined him $28,940 for "unsportsmanlike conduct, making contact with a game official" while he was going after Porter.