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Roethlisberger defends McNabb

• Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came to the defense of embattled Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, who admitted to reporters he didn't know that an NFL game can result in a tie. Steelers receiver Hines Ward supported Roethlisbeger's argument when Ward admitted to not understanding the same rule. "People are way too hard on Donovan, making way too big of a deal about this," Roethlisberger said Tuesday. "You'd be surprised. I'd bet at least 50 percent of the league didn't know that at the time." Count Ward among the 50 percent who didn't know. "I thought we were the last team to do it when we played the Falcons," he said. The Steelers and Falcons finished in a 34-34 tie in overtime Nov. 10, 2002. "I thought you just played until you had a winner," Ward said. "It's kind of weird that you can still tie ballgames." McNabb told reporters following Sunday's 13-13 finish against Cincinnati that he didn't know the game could end in a tie. Said Roethlisberger: "People just assume that the quarterback should know it all and everyone should know that stuff. Whoever thinks about that situation• How often does it come up• The rules change so often that you never know what happens."

• Tight end Heath Miller, who has missed two games because of an ankle injury, returned to practice and said he wants to play against Cincinnati on Thursday night at Heinz Field, "if I feel I'm capable of contributing to the team."

• Coach Mike Tomlin said cornerback Bryant McFadden (broken forearm) won't play against the Bengals after McFadden said last week he was targeting the game as a potential return date. Tomlin said cornerback Deshea Townsend (hamstring) will miss his second consecutive start.

Digits

15 -- Number of fourth-quarter (and overtime) comeback drives engineered by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

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