PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Steelers will close out the regular season against the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon.
It looks like the Steelers could be getting some key players back into the lineup for this important game.
Head coach Mike Tomlin would not rule out Ben Roethlisberger this weekend against the Browns.
“Hopefully we get all of those guys back,” Tomlin said in his weekly press conference Tuesday. “It’s our intention right now if the guys are healthy enough to practice and prepare, of course we will play them.”
Roethlisberger missed last week’s win against the St. Louis Rams with an ankle injury sustained the last time the Steelers and Browns met.
In fact, the only people who appear unlikely to play are Mewelde Moore and Doug Legursky.
“Some guys probably on the outside looking in from a health standpoint…Mewelde Moore continues to work his way back from his MCL sprain,” Tomlin said. “Doug Legursky is probably going to be a week away with his left shoulder. We’ll make the necessary adjustments there.
“All the other guys that have existing injuries or missed the last performance due to injury are in play as we sit here today.”
LaMarr Woodley and Maurkice Pouncey could also be available, but there is no definitive word either way.
Should Pouncey returm, it would mean Trai Essex would not have to make his first career start at the center position.
Essex filled in at the center spot against the Rams on an emergency basis after Legursky went down with a shoulder injury.
A first round bye for the Steelers is still within their reach, but they do not control their own destiny.
For it to happen, the Steelers need to win and the Baltimore Ravens need to lose to the Cincinnati Bengals.
In that scenario, the Steelers would take the AFC North title and earn the No. 2 seed in the playoffs. That’s also assuming that the New England Patriots take care of business against the Buffalo Bills.
Should the Steelers win and the Ravens and Patriots lose, the Steelers would clinch the top spot in the AFC and have home field advantage for the playoffs.
Tomlin said that the team will need to be focused on the opponent in front of them and not be concerned with what is happening in other stadiums this weekend.