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Roethlisberger questionable for Packers game

PITTSBURGH (Nov. 2, 2005) -- Ben Roethlisberger sat out Nov. 2's practice with a right knee injury and is listed as questionable for the game in Green Bay.

He said he feels better than he did three weeks ago after a sustaining a left knee injury during a Monday night game.

"I was on crutches, so obviously I was a little bit worse," the Steelers quarterback said. "It's just a little sore thing, but we'll get better."

Roethlisberger declined comment about the results of an MRI examination. He referred "knee questions" to coach Bill Cowher, who didn't talk to reporters, but said on Nov. 1 that the initial diagnosis was a strain.

Roethlisberger said he wants to play, but "obviously the final decision comes from coach Cowher. I'm going to give him my opinion; the doctors will give him their opinion and he's going to have the final say."

Three weeks ago, Roethlisberger hyperextended his left knee on the final series of the Monday night game against the San Diego Chargers. He didn't practice all week, but begged Cowher to let him play the following week against Jacksonville.

Instead, Cowher started Tommy Maddox and designated Roethlisberger as the emergency quarterback. Roethlisberger started the following two games and played most of Monday night's game against Baltimore with the injured right knee.

He sustained the injury on the first series of the game. After throwing a 5-yard pass to Antwaan Randle El, he was hit on the knee by Baltimore defensive end Jarret Johnson. He came up limping, but on fourth down ran a quarterback sneak for a first down. Four plays later, he threw a touchdown pass to Heath Miller and went to the sideline to don a brace.

"Everyone that watched the game and knows how I play could tell there was something on my knee," Roethlisberger said. "I didn't feel as mobile. We took it off at halftime and taped it and it felt a lot better. If I can go without a brace, I'm going to do it."

Also at halftime, Roethlisberger hinted to Cowher he might not be able to finish the game.

"If I can't go out there and play to the best of my ability and help this team, I'm going to have to tell him I can't do it," Roethlisberger said.

But he finished the game and directed the Steelers to a 20-19 win with a 60-yard winning field goal drive late in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger completed 18 of a career-high 30 pass attempts for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was sacked twice.

Asked if the recent injuries worry him about his future, he said, "I understand that everyone always worries about longevity and a long career and this and that, but I'm living for this year right now. So, no, we'll see what we can do for this year."

If Roethlisberger doesn't play, Charlie Batch will make his first NFL start since 2001, when he played for the Lions.

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