Ben Roethlisberger expected to play

Updated: November 22, 2011, 3:56 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger's fractured right thumb didn't put him on the sidelines the day it happened -- the Steelers' Nov. 13 win at Cincinnati. Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin says it won't keep him out this Sunday, either.

Tomlin said Tuesday that Roethlisberger will start at quarterback against the Kansas City Chiefs. And while Tomlin can't tell how much the thumb will affect him, he expects Roethlisberger to be effective.

"Those of us who know Ben understand that he's going to show and show for his teammates," Tomlin said.

Roethlisberger fractured the thumb during the second half against the Bengals, but didn't miss a snap. He threw for 245 yards and a touchdown, though 175 of those yards and the score came in the first half. The bye week allowed the thumb to start healing, and Roethlisberger has practiced this week.

Roethlisberger wore a splint under his glove and didn't take a snap from under center Monday, working out of shotgun and pistol formations. Yet Tomlin doesn't think direct snaps from center Maurkice Pouncey will be a problem Sunday.

"There's a pain tolerance issue," Tomlin said. "There's a comfortability issue. All of those things will be sorted out throughout the course of the week. To be honest with you, I'm not overly concerned about (Roethlisberger's) ability to be effective in the midst of this."

Even if Roethlisberger were lost to injury, Tomlin said he's fortunate with his quarterback depth. Charlie Batch is Roethlisberger's backup, with Dennis Dixon behind Batch.

"We're comfortable with the men we have at that position, in that we're capable of playing winning football regardless of who's under center," he said.

Tomlin also expects safety Troy Polamalu, slowed during the bye week with rib discomfort, to play Sunday. Linebacker LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) and receivers Arnaz Battle (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (knee) all practiced in a limited capacity, and Tomlin said coaches will monitor their status day by day.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press