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Steelers QB Roethlisberger rests ankle again

| Friday, Dec. 23, 2011

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, still noticeably bothered by a high-left ankle sprain, didn't practice for the second straight day Thursday.

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said Roethlisberger is a game-day decision for Saturday's contest against the St. Louis Rams at Heinz Field.

When asked about sitting Roethlisberger as the Rams are doing with Sam Bradford and a similar injury, Arians barked at the notion.

"They're not in same boat we're in," said Arians, who said they made decision to play Roethlisberger this past Monday after seeing the quarterback move in pregame warmups. "We're still playing for a bye and a lot of things, back-to-back 12-4 season. There's no reason for that."

Center Maurkice Pouncey also sat out Thursday's practice, along with running back Mewelde Moore and rookie cornerback Curtis Brown. Pouncey was optimistic about playing Saturday despite a high ankle sprain, then said, "It's one chance in a million. I can walk around and I can move, so pain tolerance is OK. We've got a couple of more days."

Brown, whose leads the Steelers in special teams tackles, missed Monday night's game at San Francisco with a knee injury.

Linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who left Monday's game after aggravating a hamstring injury, saw limited practice. He said he felt confident about his playing status. Linebacker Chris Carter and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders were limited, too. Arians said Sanders needed to practice to have an opportunity to play.

With Moore out with an MCL sprain, John Clay is likely to be activated. But offensive coordinator Bruce Arians didn't rule out going with just two running backs — Rashard Mendenhall (sore ribs) and Isaac Redman.

> > The Steelers allowed more points (20) against San Francisco than they did in their previous three games, primarily because of their success holding opponents to 39 percent on third-down efficiency. They held the 49ers to 31 percent while the offense was at 57 percent, but four turnovers wiped out the third-down advantages.

"That's the way it goes sometimes," nose tackle Casey Hampton said. "We had a lot of turnovers and we didn't get any on defense. They made a couple of good plays that were the difference."

Defensive end Ziggy Hood agreed.

"It did long run it hurt the team," Hood said. "We have to do even better on Saturday. You do a good job of stopping them on third down, but they make a play later on that hurts, especially when they score. We just didn't provide enough opportunities for our offense to make any plays."

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