Ben Roethlisberger can hold his newborn son Ben Jr. in his injured right arm just fine, thanks.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback will be able to say the same about a football, even he’s not sure.
Roethlisberger practiced in a limited role Thursday and appears a long shot to return for Sunday’s game in Baltimore.
“There’s always a chance,” Roethlisberger offered somewhat hopefully.
The lengthy list of issues still plaguing Roethlisberger more than two weeks after he sprained his right shoulder and suffered a dislocated rib in a 16-13 overtime win against Kansas City, however, suggests he’s still a week away from giving it a go.
Though the pain isn’t quite as intense as it was in the days after Kansas City linebacker Tamba Hali drilled Roethlisberger into the soggy Heinz Field turf, the two-time Super Bowl winner can still only sleep in certain positions at night. And while he’s tested the shoulder this week, he’s uncertain if he can make all the throws necessary to attack Baltimore’s secondary.
EAGLES: Quarterback Michael Vick still hasn’t passed his concussion test and hasn’t been cleared to practice, ESPN reported Thursday.
Rookie Nick Foles took the practice snaps Thursday and is likely to start his third consecutive game.
JETS: Tim Tebow was limited in practice again with two broken ribs, leaving the backup quarterback’s status uncertain for the team’s game Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Coach Rex Ryan says Thursday that the Jets will continue to “monitor his situation.”
COWBOYS: Dallas running back DeMarco Murray is finally practicing again.
It’s unknown if he’ll play Sunday night against Philadelphia, and whether his six-game absence is what ails the Cowboys’ running game.
Murray was a limited participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday in what coach Jason Garrett said was the most football work the second-year pro has done since spraining his right foot against Baltimore on Oct. 14.
JAGUARS: Could be without starting receivers Justin Blackmon and Cecil Shorts III at Buffalo on Sunday.
Both wideouts apparently were injured in practice Wednesday. They sat out practice Thursday: Blackmon because of a groin injury, and Shorts with a hamstring injury.
TITANS: Mike Munchak has hired veteran coach Tom Moore to help Tennessee after firing offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and giving the job to Dowell Loggains.
Munchak says Thursday that the 32-year-old Loggains still will call the plays starting Sunday when the Titans (4-7) host Houston (10-1). But Loggains had been the quarterbacks coach, and Munchak says they needed more help in the building.
Moore worked with the Jets last season after his stint coaching with the Indianapolis Colts and working with Peyton Manning ended.
TEXANS: The NFL has reduced its fine on Houston defensive end Antonio Smith for kicking Miami’s Richie Incognito to $11,000.
Smith was initially fined $21,000 by the league for kicking the Dolphins guard. Smith appealed, saying he was retaliating to Incognito’s stepping on his right ankle during the season opener. He missed two practices the following week with soreness in the ankle.
Incognito wasn’t fined.