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Not to worry yet, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has 'minor stomach virus,' but will start vs. Bengals

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Roethlisberger will start despite "minor" stomach illness.

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

A potentially nightmarish situation faced the Steelers before kickoff when reports circulated Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ill and had not been on the field to warm up. Steelers back up quarterback Bruce Gradkowski had been warming up at the time.

Post Gazette reporter Ed Bouchette says Roethlisberger will start the game, but how well he's going to perform is another matter. Roethlisberger is amid his finest single season in his career, and would be essential to a Steelers' victory in a game that is for the AFC North championship.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin related a story about his mom having worked in a shipyard and, as he put it, "didn't have days off," explaining his expectation that Roethlisberger will play, and he'll perform well.

The Bengals have had a rash of illness this past week. Bengals cornerback Terrence Newman will not play in tonight's game.