Roethlisberger questionable for Ravens

NFL Notes

November 16, 2005

What doesn't look questionable about the Pittsburgh Steelers" injury-complicated quarterback situation is coach Bill Cowher's decision to keep not one, but two proven backups behind Ben Roethlisberger.

Cowher said yesterday that he won't know until later in the week whether Roethlisberger can play in Sunday's game in Baltimore. Roethlisberger, who is listed as questionable, has missed two games since having knee surgery Nov. 3.

If he can't play - and the Steelers are hopeful he can - then Tommy Maddox will be their third starting QB in four games.

"There is no defined starter right now." Cowher said.

Charlie Batch started and won the past two games in his first extended playing time in four years but will sit out at least one game after breaking a bone in his right hand during a 34-21 victory over Cleveland on Sunday night. Batch played about as well as a backup can during the first half, completing 13 of 19 passes for 150 yards and breaking off a 15-yard run.

The Steelers want Roethlisberger to play against the Ravens (2-7) not only because he gives them the best chance of winning, but also so he can get back to game speed before pivotal games against the Indianapolis Colts (9-0) on Nov. 28 and division rival Cincinnati (7-2) on Dec. 4. Roethlisberger hasn't played since a 20-19 victory over the Ravens on Oct. 31, undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean up damaged cartilage in his right knee three days later.

Eagles Quarterback Donovan McNabb is unlikely to play in Philadelphia's game against the Giants on Sunday because of a groin injury. His psyche is feeling worse after his interception cost Philadelphia a crucial victory against Dallas on Monday night. 'He takes a lot of responsibility on his shoulders, and he was devastated by the loss." coach Andy Reid said. McNabb reinjured his groin while trying to tackle Cowboys safety Roy Williams after he misread the coverage and threw an interception. Williams returned the pick 46 yards for a touchdown with 2:43 left to lead Dallas to a 21-20 comeback victory over the Eagles. Reid said McNabb had a magnetic resonance imaging test yesterday morning and was waiting to see a specialist. If McNabb doesn't play, Mike McMahon probably would start over Koy Detmer against the Giants.

Patriots Center Dan Koppen is out for the season after injuring his shoulder against Miami. Koppen has started 40 games for New England since being selected in the fifth round of the 2003 draft. The former Boston College player took over the starting job in the second game of his rookie season.

49ers The team picked up tight end Terry Jones off waivers from the Ravens. Jones has been used mostly as a blocker in the Ravens" three-tight- end sets and has yet to make a catch this season. He has 50 receptions for 417 yards with five touchdowns during his four-year career.

Vikings Quarterback Daunte Culpepper had surgery to repair three torn ligaments in his right knee. Culpepper, who was hurt on a low hit after running for a first down Oct. 30 at Carolina, had the operation done by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

Giants Longtime team public- address announcer Bob Sheppard intends to retire at the end of the season. Sheppard sent a letter about his retirement a few weeks ago to John Mara, the team's chief operations officer, Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said. Sheppard began announcing Giants games in 1956 and remained a fixture with the team as it moved from Yankee Stadium to Shea Stadium to the Yale Bowl and finally to Giants Stadium in 1976.

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