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Steelers' Roethlisberger ruled out for Ravens game

Steelers' Roethlisberger ruled out for Ravens game

PITTSBURGH (AP) For the third consecutive game, the Steelers will be without their star quarterback. At least it appears as if they'll have the quarterback of their defense and the reigning team MVP back on the field.

Ben Roethlisberger will not play Sunday in Baltimore, meaning Charlie Batch will make his second consecutive start at quarterback for the Steelers (6-5), who have lost each of the first two games Roethlisberger missed.

Unlike a defeat at home two weeks ago to the rival Ravens (9-2) and an upset loss this past Sunday in Cleveland, however, the Steelers likely will have safety Troy Polamalu and receiver Antonio Brown in uniform and active.

Polamalu and Brown both practiced fully all week and are listed as probable.

Brown, voted MVP by his teammates last season, confirmed he will play against the Ravens. But he did add, ``I'm definitely sore, definitely feeling it right now.''

Brown was knocked out of a 24-20 win over the New York Giants Nov. 5 due to an ankle injury. He was walking gingerly in the locker room.

``But you've got to persevere,'' Brown said, ``and get there and take care of myself. I don't want to put a percent on (how the ankle feels). I'm just relying on my spirit right now. I'm looking forward to Sunday, excited for the opportunity to get back out there.''

Brown expects to add to the four career passes he's caught from Batch, who threw three interceptions in a 20-14 loss in Cleveland that dropped him to 5-3 as a starter over 11 seasons in Pittsburgh.

Roethlisberger threw briefly early in practice Friday but was in a sweat suit watching by the time practice ended. He will miss a third consecutive game since sustaining a sprained right shoulder and a dislocated rib in a 16-13 win against Kansas City Nov. 12.

With top backup Byron Leftwich (ribs) also out, the Steelers turn again to the Batch, 37.

``He's getting more and more comfortable. You could tell last week - that first day of practice - he was kind of a little off,'' receiver Emmanuel Sanders said. ``But this entire week, he's had three good practices, and we're looking forward to it hopefully transitioning to the game.''

Polamalu, a five-time All Pro, has not played a full game since the opener in Denver because of a right calf injury. He returned to play against the Philadelphia Eagles Oct. 7 but left in the first quarter when he re-aggravated the injury. Without him, though, the Steelers have ascended to No. 1 rankings in total defense and in passing defense.

``It means a lot (having Polamalu back), getting leadership and stability out there again,'' defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau said. ``Our guys have done a good job without him. I don't think he will be able to be out there every snap but he is going to be able to take a significant role.

``Let's face it: When you can have him on the field, it's a plus for us.''

Also ruled out for the Ravens game is linebacker LaMarr Woodley. Woodley left Sunday's game in Cleveland during the first quarter with an ankle injury. Fill-in Jason Worilds had two sacks the rest of the game to give him a team-high five.

With rookie Mike Adams (ankle) not available Sunday, the Steelers turn to their third-string right tackle, rookie seventh-round pick Kelvin Beachum. That might not be the only shuffling along the offensive line. Guard Willie Colon is listed as questionable due to a knee injury that flared up late last week and prevented him from playing in Cleveland.

Colon returned to practice - albeit in a limited capacity - on Friday after sitting out the Wednesday and Thursday. If he cannot play, the Steelers will move All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey to left guard and start Doug Legursky at center.

Pouncey's athleticism makes him a good fit for guard, a position the Steelers originally considered putting him at after drafting him in 2010.

``I'm going do what's best for the team,'' Pouncey said. ``The coaches asked me to do it, and I said, `Not a problem.' It's football. I'm an O-lineman, and I've got to adjust to it. It's still run blocking and pass blocking. It's not like I'm running screens or anything.''

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NOTES: WR Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) is questionable, while LT Max Starks (back) and NT Casey Hampton (illness) are probable. ... The Steelers haven't lost three in a row since 2009. ... After the Ravens game, Pittsburgh closes with San Diego, Dallas, Cincinnati and Cleveland.

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Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

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USA TODAY Sports

Amid Eric Decker rumors, Ravens front office now shifts attention to offensive line

Following the signing of veteran receiver Jeremy Maclin, the Ravens were rumored to be a potential suitor for Eric Decker after his release from the New York Jets. 

Although receiver is a position that must improve, Baltimore owner Steve Bisciotti recently made it clear that the team needs to address the offensive line now. 

The Ravens offensive line faces major changes after right tackle Ricky Wagner signed with the Detroit Lions this offseason, center Jeremy Zuttah was traded to the 49ers, and guard Marshal Yanda is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. 

In the 2016 draft, the Ravens took Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley with the 6th overall pick. Stanley had an impressive rookie campaign, earning AFC North Rookie of the Year in a season where he only allowed three sacks while blocking for Flacco. 

The team added some young talent in this year's draft as well, taking guard Nico Siragusa (No. 122) and Jermaine Eluemunor (No. 159) both in the fourth round. 

However, it is unsure if either rookie is ready to be thrown into the starting offensive line right away.

The Ravens front office may have just made a big splash when signing Jeremy Maclin, but they aren't quite done fixing an offense that has suffered many departures over the years. 

RELATED: JEREMY MACLIN GETS FREE CRAB CAKES FOR LIFE

 

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In addition to signing a two-year deal with the Ravens, WR Jeremy Maclin is getting free crab cakes for life

In addition to signing a two-year deal with the Ravens, WR Jeremy Maclin is getting free crab cakes for life

Like they said in Wedding Crashers: "Crab cakes and football, that's what Maryland does!"

When word got out last week that veteran WR Jeremy Maclin was meeting with the Ravens to possibly pen a deal, one Maryland restaurant took matters into their own hands. 

Jimmy's Seafood, a well known seafood restaurant in Dundalk, Maryland, tweeted at Maclin and presented him with a delicious incentive. 

On Monday, Maclin signed a two-year deal with the Ravens. Maclin was also in talks with the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles, but I guess he prefers crab cakes over buffalo wings and cheese steaks. 

Soon after the deal became official, Maclin responded to Jimmy's Seafood's tweet.

The restaurant has strong relationships with many current and former Ravens such as Tony Jefferson, Torrey Smith and Jonathan Ogden.

CEO of the restaurant, John Minadakis, isn't too worried about supplying the wide receiver with as many crab cakes as he would like.

"How many crab cakes can one person eat?" Minadakis said. "It's not going to take us out of business. That's for sure."

The restaurant is even willing to offer up the same deal to other potential Ravens prospects like Eric Decker, who was released from the Jets on Monday.

Whether or not their offer had that much of an effect on Maclin's decision, the man will be eating good for a very long time. 

MORE RAVENS: RAVENS PLAYERS HAVE BACHELORETTE WATCH PARTY