Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is hoping an MRI he is scheduled to have Friday will confirm that he sustained a high-ankle sprain in the Steelers` 14-3 win over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night at Heinz Field.
Roethlisberger stayed down in the second quarter after getting hit low by defensive tackle Scott Paxson. He played the entire second half after an X-ray showed no breaks and the Steelers green-lighted his return.
That clearance came after Roethlisberger received one of the biggest scares of his career.
"I thought my leg was broken, honestly," Roethlisberger said. "One of the most painful things I`ve ever felt. I didn`t want to feel that my foot was outside of my leg.
"The plan on my part was basically to give it one or two more plays and see how I could do it. It wasn`t for any other reason than to be out there for my guys."
Said Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: "The doctors said he was OK to go. He wanted to go. We know what a competitor he is. We know his pain tolerance. We know what he`s capable of."
Roethlisberger has the benefit of an extended break – the Steelers don`t play again until a week from Monday in San Francisco – to get healthy. He said the MRI will help determine what he needs to do to play against the 49ers on Dec. 19.
Big Ben's toughness was on display Thursday night as he hobbled his way to 280 yards and two TDs in a bad matchup with a pretty stingy Browns secondary.