Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is defending his decision to play Ben Roethlisberger on Monday night and declining to divulge whether Roethlisberger will play on Saturday. But all indications are that Roethlisberger’s injured ankle will get a rest.
Team officials are privately saying they would be shocked if Roethlisberger plays this week and expect him to rest his injured ankle for at least one week, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports.
That would mean Charlie Batch would start in place of Roethlisberger on Saturday at home against the Rams, a game the Steelers should be able to win without Roethlisberger.
The question then becomes whether it makes any sense for Roethlisberger to play in Week 17, considering that the Steelers may be locked into the No. 5 seed in the AFC and having nothing to play for. It would probably make more sense at that point to give Roethlisberger another week of rest, and hope that his ankle is in better shape in the first round of the playoffs than it was on Monday night in San Francisco.