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Roethlisberger, Pouncey planning to practice

Ben Roethlisberger said he is going to try to practice today, and the Steelers quarterback is hopeful of playing Sunday in Cleveland.

"I'd like to play just because I like being out there but I don't know if I necessarily need it," Roethlisberger said today before the Steelers' first practice of the week. "It would be nice to get another week of rest but I would prefer to play."

Roethlisberger is working his way back from a high ankle sprain, and the Steelers held him out of last Saturday's 27-0 win over St. Louis so he could get some extra rest.

The Steelers have already clinched a playoff berth. If they win in Cleveland and Baltimore loses in Cincinnati, they will win the AFC North and get a first-round bye in the playoffs.

If they lose to the Browns or the Ravens beat the Bengals, the Steelers will get a No. 5 seed and play at Denver or Oakland in the first round of the playoffs.

Roethlisberger, who was named to his second Pro Bowl yesterday, walked without a noticeable limp before practice today. He said of his injured left ankle, "I feel like we've gotten a little bit better every day, no setbacks."

In other injury news, Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey said he plans to practice today. Pouncey, who has been out with a high ankle sprain, said he is "pain free" and that he will play against the Browns.

Pouncey, of course, said he would play in San Francisco on Dec. 19, less than a week after sustaining the same injury that kept him out of the Super Bowl last year.

He has since missed two games, and when asked what is different this time when he says he is going to return to action, Pouncey smiled.

"You should believe this one," he said.

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