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Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger named AFC offensive player of the week

| Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 11:33 a.m.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws a pass during the second half against the Lions on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at Heinz Field.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger throws a pass during the second half against the Lions on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2013, at Heinz Field.

• Ben Roethlisberger (four TDs, 0 interceptions, 97-yard game-winning drive) was chosen as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week for the 10th time in his 10-season career.

• Receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who injured a foot against the Lions, returned to practice Wednesday with no restrictions. Defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and safety Shamarko Thomas (ankle) were held out. Left guard Ramon Foster (ankle), tight end Heath Miller (day off), linebackers Stevenson Sylvester (hamstring) and LaMarr Woodley (calf) and center Fernando Velasco (knee) were limited. A high-ankle sprain often keeps a player out for multiple games, but Foster hopes to play in Cleveland.

• The Steelers-Lions game on Fox was watched by 37.7 percent of all TV households in the Pittsburgh market, the sixth-highest rating for any team in its local market last weekend. The Steelers also were No. 6 the week before with a 33.9 rating against the Bills on CBS. The late-day Patriots game Nov. 3 drew a 38.5 rating and was the most-watched show in the Pittsburgh market that week.

• Only four teams have fewer sacks than the Steelers' 18. But Woodley said it isn't necessarily because of a deficient pass rush. “The quarterbacks do a great job of getting rid of the ball fast. There are a lot of three-step drops because they know what kind of defense we play to bring pressure from the outside,” he said.

• Browns cornerback Joe Haden said Antonio Brown is becoming one of the most difficult receivers in the league to cover. “(A.J. Green of Cincinnati) is more of a big-post, fade or a double move (guy). Antonio runs those routes, but he's really good with slants, reverses, drag routes and comebacks. His routes are really crisp.”

• The Steelers have won four of six, but their 0-4 start gives them little margin for error if they are to climb into AFC playoff contention. “It's literally one game at a time,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. “I was on a (Jets) team that was 8-3 after 11 games and didn't make the playoffs. I felt like that was a very good team. At the same time, the mindset of attacking it week to week kind of left a little bit.”

• With Woodley out with a calf injury, Jason Worilds moved to left outside linebacker and had a sack and four quarterback pressures against the Lions. Worilds likes to play the left side better, and Woodley is willing to move to the right side if asked. “It wouldn't be a big deal for me,” said Woodley, who is expected to return Sunday in Cleveland. “In college (at Michigan), I played right and left, and it doesn't really matter to me. If Jason says he feels more comfortable on the left, that's where he's more comfortable. That's not my decision.”

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