PITTSBURGH -- So, there's a report out there that Ben Roethlisberger has a fractured wrist, and the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback says he's OK.
Which is more believable, the player himself or a report that was gotten second-hand? Roethlisberger said after the New Orleans game that his hand was numb, like when you bang your funny bone. On Wednesday, Roethlisberger said his wrist was fine.
"I got the feeling back and am ready to rock and roll today,'' Roethlisberger said before practice. Like I said, throughout games it's not a rarity for quarterbacks to hit hands, helmets, shoulder pads (or) whatever it was. I just know that the play to Antonio (Brown) was the play that actually did the stinging.''
There was some swelling in his hand, but "nothing too crazy,'' he added. "Like I said, it was just loss of feeling in the two fingers and nothing that you can't play through.''
Roethlisberger did not practice on Wednesday, but the Steelers' injury report noted that it was "not injury related.'' He threw to several receivers after practice, nothing intense, but he threw the ball around while wearing a glove on his right (throwing) hand. Roethlisberger reiterated in the locker room afterward that he has "never lied'' to the media.
A Steelers media relations representative said that the club is required to list Roethlisberger's injury, if in fact he is injured. So, since he was listed as "not injury related'' would indicate that he is not. Sure, the hand might be sore, but this appears to be overblown a bit.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin would not comment on the record after practice, but he clearly wasn't thrilled that a report from a blogger who doesn't actually cover the team would create such a stir.
There was some good news on the Steelers' injury report. Cornerbacks Ike Taylor (shoulder), Cortez Allen (thumb) and Brice McCain (hamstring) were full participants in practice Wednesday, as were nose tackle Steve McLendon (right shoulder) and inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (ankle).
Taylor has had no issues with his right forearm, but tweaked his shoulder a bit against the Saints. Allen has been out for a couple of weeks, but he at least adds depth. And McCain missed the second half of the game, but he appears to be OK for this week. McLendon has had issues with his shoulder for weeks, but he could return. And Shazier appears to be ready to come back as well.
On the down side, right offensive tackle Marcus Gilbert (ankle) didn't practice, along with outside linebacker James Harrison (knee) and strong safety Troy Polamalu (illness). Polamalu usually doesn't practice on Wednesdays, though, and neither does tight end Heath Miller. Roethlisberger and Miller were listed as non-injury-related absences.
With Keisel out, that opens the door for rookie Stephon Tuitt, and it will have to open wide for this behemoth to step in. After showing some flashes during the first half of the regular season, Tuitt finally appears ready to step up.
Notes: On the Bengals injury list for Wednesday: LB Jayson DiManche (forearm) already is out, while LB Vontaze Burfict (knee), DE Robert Geathers (hip), TE Ryan Hewitt (illness), DE Margus Hunt (ankle), CB Adam Jones (concussion), DT Domata Peko (elbow), OG Mike Pollak (knee) and WR James Wright (knee) did not practice. And WR A.J. Green (thigh) and OT Marshall Newhouse (hip) were limited in practice.