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Steelers

Notebook: Roethlisberger injured ankle

| Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2005

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his ankle in Monday night's 26-7 loss to the Colts. Roethlisberger limped noticeably after the game.

"Ben kind of tweaked his ankle a little bit in the game, but I think he will be fine," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said.

Roethlisberger went 17 of 26 for 133 yards with a touchdown, two interceptions and a passer rating of 58.7. He was also sacked three times.

  • Cowher said the status of Pro Bowl LT Marvel Smith is not known for the Bengals game.

    Smith sprained his left ankle against the Colts and left in the second quarter. He missed the Steelers previous game against the Ravens in Baltimore with a right ankle sprain.

    Rookie third-round pick Trai Essex filled in for Smith, as he did the previous week against Baltimore in his first career start, but was called for two illegal-procedure penalties in a four-play span with the Steelers trailing by 16 midway through the third quarter. The second infraction turned a fourth-and-2 at the Colts 32 into a fourth-and-7, forcing the Steelers to punt instead of attempting to go for a first down, as they had originally planned.

  • WR Antwaan Randle El has been held to fewer than two catches four times, including two games with no catches.

    "It was just frustration not being able to move the ball and not scoring," said Randle El, who had two catches for 5 yards Monday and appeared to be angry after Roethlisberger was stopped on a QB draw on fourth-and-4 from the Colts 26 early in the fourth quarter.

    "It's a team game and it's hard when you can't be involved when you want to," Randle El said.

    On the draw call, Roethlisberger said, "I thought it was a good call; I just needed to make one guy miss."

  • Cowher said he plans to start tailback Willie Parker on Sunday against Cincinnati for the 11th time in 12 games this season. He didn't say how he'll use the rest of his backs -- Jerome Bettis, Duce Staley and Verron Haynes. Haynes was de-activated for the first time Monday. The Steelers have managed just 156 yards on 50 attempts in losses to the Colts and Ravens. Parker has carried 30 times for 102 yards (3.4 per rush) during that span, Bettis 8 for 9 yards (1.1) and Staley, who did not dress against Baltimore, 3 for 6 (2.0).

  • Bettis and Parker conceded after the Colts loss that it is difficult to get into a rhythm when the running backs are continually rotated. For instance, Parker rushed 3 times for minus-4 yards on the Steelers' first two possessions, then was replaced by Bettis, who ran for 5 yards on 3 attempts in the ensuing two possessions. Staley was inserted on the next possession and had 3 yards on 2 attempts.

    "You can say that; you can use that excuse," Bettis said of the lack of rhythm. "But the bottom line is, we weren't able to get anything going. So, I guess, sometimes, you have to see if anything's working. But obviously, nothing was working, so it didn't make a difference."

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