Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw the football Monday and has a chance to potentially play this week against the Ravens, according to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

During his weekly news conference, though, Tomlin also indicated the Steelers are prepared in case it's too soon for Roethlisberger to return, saying: "Right now, Charlie Batch is our quarterback."

Roethlisberger has been dealing with rib and shoulder injuries since being hurt in an overtime win over the Kansas City Chiefs and was unable to play in the Ravens' 13-10 win over the Steelers at Heinz Field.

However, Roethlisberger has not been ruled out for this week's game and it appears there's a chance he could be in the mix for Sunday based on his coach's comments.

"Ben threw the ball," Tomlin said. "He'll take steps maybe toward playing this week. We'll leave that door open. He's got a chance."

Roethlisberger's injury to his throwing shoulder has always been characterized as a three-week injury, at minimum.

As for the throwing session, Tomlin replied: "I didn't really learn much. I was just informed he threw. It was a step in the right direction. We'll let the results of that work lead us to where we potentially will go."

Roethlisberger is known for having a high pain threshold and once played with a broken nose against the Ravens.

"I've got relationships with these guys," Tomlin said. "What they show is the key element. He's not going to be allowed to play unless he shows us he's capable of it."

Meanwhile, wide receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) and safety Troy Polamalu (calf) are slated to practice this week and could return Sunday against the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery is also expected to practice.

And rookie offensive tackle Mike Adams, who has struggled in recent weeks, including against Ravens outside linebacker Paul Kruger two games ago, has been benched and replaced by Kelvin Beachum.

Jonathan Dwyer will start at running back, Tomlin announced.

Tomlin is still upset about the Steelers' eight turnovers in a loss to the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.

"It was a failure," he said. "Very rarely do you lose a game and can point to a few ares of failure for why you lost, but we turned the ball over and were penalized on offense. We talked all week about being backup quarterback friendly.

"Those things aren't quarterback friendly. I chiefly accept responsibility for the lack of ball security. That eliminated any chance for rhythm and success. It's quite amazing that we only lost by six points. Fumbling is unacceptable."

As for the Ravens, who are coming off a dramatic 16-13 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers keyed by Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice's memorable scamper for a first down on 4th-and-29, Tomlin is impressed by the reigning AFC North champions who are 9-2 overall.

"Ray is a special guy for all situations, 4th-and-29, that's a special football play," Tomlin said. "It highlights not only his football abilities, but their belief in one another. The type of block from Anquan Boldin is a snapshot of what the Ravens have been able to do. They find ways to win. We had better find ways to match their camaraderie."

Referencing Jacoby Jones' punt return for a touchdown, the Ravens' only touchdown against Pittsburgh, Tomlin said: "Jacoby Jones is a threat. He added to his resume against us."

awilson@baltsun.com

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