Ben Roethlisberger doubtful, but Steelers “encouraged” by his status

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The Steelers signed quarterback Brian Hoyer on Tuesday, which sent a pretty good sign that neither Ben Roethlisberger nor Byron Leftwich will be healthy enough to play this Sunday.

Coach Mike Tomlin confirmed that later in the day when he ruled out Leftwich and termed Roethlisberger doubtful to play against the Browns. Tomlin had some better news in terms of Roethlisberger’s overall recovery from the rib and shoulder injuries that kept him out of the Week 11 loss to the Ravens.

“He had an additional test done today and all things are very positive in terms of where he is,” Tomlin said, via Jamison Hensley of “We’re encouraged about his status.”

Tomlin also provided updates on a slew of other injured Steelers. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery won’t play this week, opening the door for Plaxico Burress’ return to the NFL and Antonio Brown will be limited early in the week as he tries to return after an ankle injury. Safety Troy Polamalu is expected to run on Wednesday and is considered questionable after missing the last six weeks with a calf issue. Tackle Marcus Gilbert is also questionable, according to Tomlin.

The Steelers also announced that they have waived running back Baron Batch and linebacker Marshall McFadden to create room for Burress and Hoyer on the roster.