Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been sidelined with a shoulder injury and dislocated rib for the past three games.
On Wednesday, Roethlisberger told USA TODAY Sports: "I can play with pain. I'll give it everything I've got. Pain is not an issue for me. It's about performance and how hard can I throw the ball? How far can I throw the ball?
Roethlisberger added: "I feel a lot better. We'll see how it goes. Today will be a big judge."
Roethlisberger's return to practice this week coincides with the return of Baltiomore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis is returning from torn triceps, which he suffered in October.
Roethlisberger told USA TODAY Sports that he and Lewis had a heart-to-heart conversation three weeks ago about missing the Steelers-Ravens rivalry game for the first time in their careers.
"Ray came up to me before the game and we had a long conversation on the field," Roethlisberger said, referencing the Steelers 13-10 loss Nov. 18. "I have a lot of respect for that guy. I gave him a hug and he goes, 'Who would have ever thought that, this game, neither one of us would play?' I said, 'I know. It's not the same.' Just acknowledging the admiration we have for each other. It's great to see him back out there (practicing today)."