Batch to start in place of Roethlisberger for Steelers

NOTES

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Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not start today when the Steelers face the St. Louis Rams.

Roethlisberger is dealing with a sprained left ankle and did not practice this week following a 20-3 loss to San Francisco on Monday. He will be replaced by veteran Charlie Batch, who is 4-2 as a spot starter since joining the Steelers in 2003.

Roethlisberger said Wednesday he would prefer to play and believed his ankle was in pretty good shape after throwing for 330 yards and three interceptions against the 49ers. Yet he watched both practices this week in sweat pants as Batch took the snaps with the first team.

Roethlisberger last missed a start becaue of injury in 2009, when a concussion forced him to sit out a loss to Baltimore.

PANTHERS: Placed starting cornerback Captain Munnerlyn on injured reserve with a strained left hamstring.

Munnerlyn, a former South Carolina standout, was injured last week against the Texans and had to leave the game.

Darius Butler, acquired off waivers earlier this season from the Patriots, will start today against the Bucs, coach Ron Rivera said.

The Panthers are also likely to be without strong safety Charles Godfrey, who is out with a strained right shoulder. He’s listed as doubtful after missing practice again on Friday. If Godfrey can’t start, then Jordan Pugh will get the nod.

TITANS: Running back Chris Johnson is questionable for today’s game with the Jacksonville Jaguars after being limited by his sore right ankle on Friday.

Johnson hurt his ankle late in last week’s 27-13 loss to the Colts.

COWBOYS: Running back Felix Jones is listed as questionable for today’s game against Philadelphia after missing practice all week because of hamstring tightness.

The NFC East-leading Cowboys had said during the week they were being cautious with Jones, who was limited to working on the side but never got on the field for practice.

Sammy Morris, a 12-year NFL veteran who signed with Dallas and made his season debut last week, would start if Jones doesn’t play. The Cowboys signed running back Chauncey Washington to the active roster from their practice squad.

DOLPHINS: Tight end Anthony Fasano has been ruled out of today’s game at New England because of a concussion.

Left tackle Jake Long (back), receiver Brandon Marshall (knee) and cornerback Will Allen are listed as probable.

BEARS: Might be without running back Marion Barber and return star Devin Hester at Green Bay on Sunday.

Barber (calf injury) is listed as doubtful and Hester (ankle) questionable. Coach Lovie Smith said it’s “not looking real good” after they sat out practice this week.

Kahlil Bell will likely start for Barber. Earl Bennett would likely return punts in Hester’s place and Bell could handle kickoff returns.

FINED: Detroit Lions defensive end Cliff Avril and linebacker Stephen Tulloch have been fined $15,000 apiece by the NFL for horse collar tackles during last week’s win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Other fines announced by the league Friday include Jets’ wide receiver Santonio Holmes docked $7,500 for excessive celebration after a score in a loss to Philadelphia, and Texans linebacker Brian Cushing penalized $10,000 for hitting Carolina quarterback Cam Newton in the head and neck area.

Also, Bengals linebacker Dan Skuta was fined $20,000 for an illegal blindside block, Bengals safety Chris Crocker was fined $15,000 for roughing the passer, Raiders defensive back Jerome Boyd was docked $20,000 for an illegal blindside block and Giants linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul was fined $10,000 for an illegal hit on the quarterback.


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