There won’t be any pregame suspense waiting to find out whether it’s Ben Roethlisberger or Charlie Batch under center when the Steelers visit the Ravens on Sunday.
Roethlisberger (right shoulder) was officially ruled out for the third straight game on Friday’s injury report, and that’s good news for Baltimore fans if you buy into track records.
Pittsburgh (6-5) has lost two in a row with its starting quarterback out and the team is 0-5 against the Ravens when Roethlisberger hasn’t played because of injury or suspension.
If Baltimore can deepen that to 0-6, it has a chance to clinch the division.
But the Ravens will possibly have to do it without a couple of important pieces.
Aside from cornerback Jimmy Smith (abs) being ruled out for a fourth consecutive contest, tight end Ed Dickson (knee) was listed as doubtful and linebacker Dannell Ellerbe (ankle, knee, finger) was listed as questionable on Baltimore’s injury report.
Cornerback Chris Johnson (thigh) and defensive end Pernell McPhee (thigh) are also questionable for Sunday. Nine others were listed as probable: wideout Anquan Boldin (knee), defensive tackle Terrence Cody (elbow), cornerback Corey Graham (illness), wideout Jacoby Jones (ankle), tight end Dennis Pitta (neck), safety Bernard Pollard (chest), safety Ed Reed (shoulder), wideout Torrey Smith (thigh) and linebacker Terrell Suggs (ankle).
Joining Roethlisberger as out for Pittsburgh are tackle Mike Adams (ankle), quarterback Byron Leftwich (ribs) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (ankle). Tackle Willie Colon (knee) and wideout Jerricho Cotchery (ribs) are listed as questionable.
It appears that safety Troy Polamalu (calf) and receiver Antonio Brown (ankle) will be back, as both were listed as probable. Neither played in the first meeting between the teams two weeks ago. Defensive tackle Casey Hampton (illness) and tackle Max Starks (back) are also probable for Sunday.