Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has shed, temporarily at least, the walking boot that has been protecting his injured left ankle and was fitted with a special brace that will help him practice and possibly play next Monday night against the San Francisco 49ers, Mike Bires of the Times Online reports.
Roethlisberger sustained a grade one sprain of his left ankle during the second quarter of last Thursday night's 14-3 win over the Cleveland Browns. Roethlisberger played through the injury in the second half, completing 16-of-21 pass attempts for 280 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
As was the case on Monday and Wednesday, Roethlisberger will not practice on Thursday. On Wednesday, head coach Mike Tomlin indicated that going through a full practice may not be necessary for Roethlisberger to play on Monday night.
"He can be ready to play on a limited number of snaps," Tomlin said according to the Associated Press. "At the end of the week, when we get into some situational football things, that's going to require some physical preparation in some form or fashion. But we're going to take it day by day. We're always going to be optimistic when it comes to Ben."
In the event Roethlisberger is unable to play, veteran Charlie Batch would start at quarterback for the Steelers.
For more on Roethlisberger's ankle and the Steelers, check out Behind the Steel Curtain.