Bruised ankle keeps Big Ben out

Associated Press  |  Last updated August 02, 2012
A day after leaving practice a few minutes early because a teammate stepped on his foot during a drill, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not practice Sunday. The two-time Super Bowl winner denied a Saturday report that he had a left ankle sprain, characterizing it as a ''simple bruise.'' ''He should be fine,'' coach Mike Tomlin said. ''We'll take a look at it, he'll be a day-to-day thing, see how he goes from there.'' The Steelers do not practice Monday, so Roethlisberger said giving his body 48 hours off was part of the reason for not practicing Sunday. ''It's good, no worries,'' Roethlisberger said. The news was not as positive regarding the five Steelers still on the physically unable to perform list: nose tackle Casey Hampton, outside linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds, running back Rashard Mendenhall and offensive tackle Max Starks. Tomlin indicated it will be the end of the week at the earliest before any are cleared for practice. ''The vast majority of the PUP guys are week to week,'' Tomlin said after Sunday's practice. ''So we'll evaluate their position when we get back from Philly.'' The Steelers open preseason play Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers' practice Sunday was moved from its camp at St. Vincent College near Latrobe, Pa., about an hour's drive away to the indoor facility the team shares with the University of Pittsburgh. That's the third different venue in three days for a Steelers practice, counting the annual Friday night practice at Greater Latrobe High School. ''I thought they put a nice exclamation point on a good, competitive weekend,'' Tomlin said. ''We put them in a variety of unusual circumstances, and they responded. From Friday Night Lights to short-yardage and goal-line, to the logistics of coming down here and performing, I like the way the group is showing me that they're capable of playing anytime that we roll the ball out under any circumstances.'' The circumstances got even more bizarre Sunday when the lights went out as a thunderstorm rolled through. Practice was halted for about a dozen minutes. USA Today reported Saturday that Roethlisberger sprained that same left ankle he injured against the Browns in December, but on Sunday the quarterback denied the ankle was sprained. ''I don't know where that came from; it completely just got stepped on,'' he said. Roethlisberger, who turned 30 in March, revealed last week that he has a slightly torn right rotator cuff. He has not missed any practice time nor did he miss any games last season because of the shoulder. Of the five players remaining on the PUP list, all but Worilds are considered starters - although Starks might be getting bypassed by rookie Mike Adams at left tackle. Adams is running with the first-team offense in practice. Worilds is Harrison's backup, and the team's other starting outside linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, has missed multiple practices with a knee injury. That has left the Steelers perilously thin at outside linebacker, though Woodley did practice Sunday. Notes CB Curtis Brown left practice early due to knee soreness. ... P Jeremy Kapinos continues to be absent from practices because of back pain.
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