It's been almost 48 hours since the Pittsburgh Steelers ruled out Ben Roethlisberger for Sunday night's AFC North showdown, but the quarterback is still on the minds of several Ravens defensive players.
Answering a question about the challenge of defending Steelers wide receivers Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, cornerback Corey Graham referred to Roethlisberger, not his replacement Byron Leftwich.
"We were looking at the film and all of those guys are good," Graham said Thursday. "However you look at it, all three, four, five of them, they do a lot of great things. They've got great speed out there. Ben does a good job of keeping plays alive, and those guys do a good job of getting open. So you've just got to keep your eyes on your guy and make sure you stay with him and make plays when you get the opportunity."
Inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe also mentioned Roethlisberger in his reply to a question about paying attention to tight end Heath Miller before correcting himself.
"You've got to stay on [Miller] long because Ben can roll out and make plays," Ellerbe said. "I mean, Ben's not playing. So we're still going to have to stay on our man until the play is over."
Roethlisberger is battling a dislocated rib and a sprained right shoulder that will sideline him indefinitely. But inside linebacker Jameel McClain pulled a page from outside linebacker Terrell Suggs' playbook and said he continues to expect to see Roethlisberger under center Sunday night.
"I think Ben is playing," McClain said. "So I don't know. I'm preparing for Ben and Byron. That's the game I'm playing."